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Payne at fullback for Ireland as Schmidt hands 12 shirt to Luke Marshall

Robbie Henshaw moves to 13 as Jordi Murphy takes over at openside flanker.

Rory Keane reports from Cape Town

JARED PAYNE WILL make his first Ireland start at fullback in the clash with South Africa at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday [KO 4pm Irish time].

Jared Payne Payne has impressed at 15 for Ulster. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

In the injury-enforced absence of Rob Kearney and Simon Zebo, Schmidt has opted to move Payne – who was won all 14 of his caps at outside centre – to the backfield.

The former Blues man has been ever-present in the number 15 shirt for Ulster this season. Up until now, Schmidt has resisted the temptation to select Payne at fullback, citing his organisation on the edge as a key component to the Irish defensive system.

Robbie Henshaw moves to outside centre for Saturday’s clash with the Boks and will link up with Luke Marshall in midfield. Marshall was 24th man throughout the Six Nations but hasn’t started a Test for Ireland since facing Argentina in 2014.

Andrew Trimble and Keith Earls continue on the wings, while Conor Murray is joined in the halfbacks by Ulsterman Paddy Jackson.

Jordi Murphy has been given the nod at openside flanker, having been left out of Ireland’s Six Nations squad this year, joining Jamie Heaslip and CJ Stander.

Iain Henderson, who missed the Six Nations through injury, returns alongside Devin Toner in the engine room, while Jack McGrath, captain Rory Best and Mike Ross make up the front row.

Sean Cronin is preferred to Richardt Strauss as replacement hooker and Ultan Dillane provides second row cover. Kieran Marmion’s end-of-season form sees him ahead of Eoin Reddan on the bench, while Ian Madigan and Craig Gilroy will cover the remainder of the backline.

Ireland (v South Africa):

15. Jared Payne
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Luke Marshall
11. Keith Earls
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Mike Ross
4. Iain Henderson
5. Devin Toner
6. CJ Stander
7. Jordi Murphy
8. Jamie Heaslip


16. Sean Cronin
17. Finlay Bealham
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ian Madigan
23. Craig Gilroy

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