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Carty earns first Ireland start in Schmidt's much-changed team for Wales

Opportunity knocks one final time for a host of players bidding to get into Schmidt’s 31-man World Cup squad.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS, as expected, made wholesale changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s penultimate World Cup warm-up game against Wales in Cardiff, with Jack Carty handed his first Test start in the 10 jersey.

The Connacht out-half has won five caps off the bench since making his international debut during the Six Nations, but is handed his big chance to push his case for selection against Warren Gatland’s side at the Millennium Stadium [KO 2.30pm, Channel 4].

jack-carty Carty starts at out-half. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Carty will partner Connacht team-mate Kieran Marmion in the half-backs, as Schmidt makes 11 changes in personnel from last weekend’s record defeat to England in London.

Will Addison, Dave Kilcoyne, James Ryan and Jack Conan all come into the starting XV for their first appearances of pre-season, while Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Iain Henderson and Peter O’Mahony are the players retained from last week.

With Schmidt set to submit his 31-man panel for Japan to World Rugby on Monday, this weekend represents the final opportunity for those on the periphery of selection to stake their claim.

Ulster’s Addison starts at fullback having initially been left out of Schmidt’s extended training squad at the start of the summer, but he has rebounded strongly from back surgery and is now firmly in contention for a World Cup ticket.

While he will operate in the backfield in Cardiff, 27-year-old Addison has shown his versatility at Test level before in his three caps, having previously fit in on the wing and in midfield.

He is joined in the back three by Munster’s Andrew Conway and Stockdale, who will be hoping for a big response after last week, while Chris Farrell and Aki are paired together in midfield.

It’s an all-Munster front row as Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan are handed starting opportunities, with Leinster’s Ryan set for his seasonal re-appearance in the second row alongside Ulster captain Henderson.

The back row selection is intriguing. After coming off the bench against Italy and England in the second row, Tadhg Beirne starts at blindside, meaning O’Mahony — who captains Ireland — shifts to openside.

peter-omahony O'Mahony captains Ireland. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Conan is given his big window to push his case for selection in the number eight jersey in what will be his first outing since Leinster’s Pro14 final win over Glasgow Warriors.

On the bench, Rory Best, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong and Devin Toner are involved again, with Jordi Murphy providing the back row cover. 

Luke McGrath, having featured in both the warm-up games to date, Dave Kearney and Garry Ringrose are the backline options, but there is no out-and-out 10 on the bench with Johnny Sexton again held back and Ross Byrne struggling with a knock.

Ireland:

15. Will Addison
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Tadhg Beirne
7. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
8. Jack Conan.

Replacements:

16. Rory Best
17. Andrew Porter 
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Devin Toner
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Luke McGrath 
22. Garry Ringrose
23. Dave Kearney.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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