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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 4 April, 2020

Ringrose retained as Schmidt makes wholesale changes for final November Test

A number of players have a chance to stake their claim in Saturday’s clash against USA.

AS WAS EXPECTED, Joe Schmidt has used the final November Test of this international window to cast his eye over the rest of his squad by making 14 changes in personnel for Saturday’s clash against USA.

Garry Ringrose is the only player retained in Schmidt’s starting XV from last weekend’s victory over the All Blacks, while Cian Healy and Josh van der Flier are named among the replacements for USA’s first visit to the Aviva Stadium [KO 6.30pm, RTÉ 2/Channel 4].

Garry Ringrose Ringrose will start three of Ireland's November Tests. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Having come off the bench against the world champions to help see out Ireland’s momentous 16-9 win over Steve Hansen’s side, Joey Carbery, Iain Henderson and Jordi Murphy are all promoted to starting roles.

Ulster scrum-half John Cooney is handed his first start as he partners Carbery in a new-look half-back pairing, while Will Addison slots in at fullback having impressed at outside centre against Argentina earlier this month. 

Munster’s Andrew Conway and Darren Sweetnam are named on either wing and Stuart McCloskey gets another opportunity in the Ireland midfield alongside Ringrose, the Ulster centre set to win his third cap and first in a year.

Up front, Connacht’s Finlay Bealham is joined in the front row by Dave Kilcoyne and Niall Scannell while Tadhg Beirne is re-instated to the second row after missing out on involvement over the last two weekends.

Beirne, who will win his second start after a two-try performance against Italy in Chicago, partners Iain Henderson in the engine room with Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Jack Conan are named in the back row. 

Ruddock is named as captain in the absence of Rory Best, Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton, as Healy, van der Flier and Luke McGrath are held in reserve having featured against the All Blacks.

Rhys Ruddock Ruddock captains Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ross Byrne will have to wait for his first start in green as he is named on the bench alongside Munster’s uncapped centre Sammy Arnold, who is rewarded for his strong start to the season. 

Rob Herring, John Ryan and Quinn Roux provide the other bench options for Schmidt. 

Earlier in the week, Schmidt released Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Rob Kearney, James Ryan and Jordan Larmour back to Leinster, while Connacht’s Kieran Marmion is sidelined through injury. 


15. Will Addison
14. Andrew Conway
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Darren Sweetnam
10. Joey Carbery
9. John Cooney

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. Finlay Bealham 
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. Iain Henderson
6. Rhys Ruddock (captain)
7. Jordi Murphy
8. Jack Conan.


16. Rob Herring
17. Cian Healy
18. John Ryan
19. Quinn Roux
20. Josh van der Flier
21. Luke McGrath
22. Ross Byrne
23. Sam Arnold.

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Ryan Bailey

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