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Roux set for Ireland debut as Schmidt makes five changes for second Test

Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding, Tadhg Furlong and Rhys Ruddock all start for Ireland.

Rory Keane reports from Johannesburg

JOE SCHMIDT HAS handed South Africa native Quinn Roux his Test debut among five changes to his starting line-up ahead of Saturday’s rematch with the Springboks at Ellis Park Stadium [KO 4pm Irish time, Sky Sports 1].

Quinn Roux during training Roux will start against his native land. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding, Tadhg Furlong, Roux and Rhys Ruddock have all been included in Ireland’s starting XV ahead of the crunch rematch with Springboks in Johannesburg.

Connacht fullback Tiernan O’Halloran and Ulster back row Sean Reidy could make their Ireland debuts off the bench.

A gruelling season that began with a pre-World Cup training camp back in July of the last year, the physical toll of defending with 14 men for almost an hour last weekend, and playing at altitude has influenced Schmidt’s thinking with regards to freshening up his side.

Gilroy replaces Keith Earls and will form an all-Ulster back three alongside Jared Payne and Andrew Trimble while Olding comes in for his provincial team-mate Luke Marshall at inside centre.

Olding, who last started for Ireland against Georgia back in November 2014, will link up with Robbie Henshaw in a new-look Irish midfield. Paddy Jackson and Conor Murray continue at half-back after their outstanding displays at Newlands.

Mike Ross, who has been virtually ever-present during Schmidt’s time in charge, drops out for his Leinster team-mate Tadgh Furlong, who makes his first Test start having won all of his six previous caps from the bench.

Most surprising of all the changes is Roux’s promotion to the starting line-up alongside Devin Toner, having been on the periphery of Connacht’s starting side this season.

Mike Ross and Tadgh Furlong celebrate after the match Furlong replaces Mike Ross at tighthead. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

In starting, Roux will play against his native country. The 25-year-old initially moved to Ireland to join Schmidt at Leinster in 2012, before making a switch to Connacht in 2014, first on loan before signing permanently.

With CJ Stander unavailable due to his one-match ban, Iain Henderson moves from the second row to the blindside, with Ruddock coming in for Jordi Murphy at openside flanker.

Ruddock last started in the number seven shirt for Ireland as a late call-up for Chris Henry on the morning of Ireland’s 29-15 victory against the Boks in November 2014 at the Aviva Stadium. Jamie Heaslip remains at number eight.

Earls, Ross, Marshall, Murphy, Ultan Dillane, Sean Cronin, and the suspended Stander are all absent from the matchday 23, with Richardt Strauss, Dave Kilcoyne, Donnacha Ryan, Reidy and O’Halloran all coming onto the bench

Ireland (v South Africa):

15. Jared Payne
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Stuart Olding
11. Craig Gilroy
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best (captain)
3  Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. Quinn Roux
6. Iain Henderson
7. Rhys Ruddock
8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:

16. Richardt Strauss
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Donnacha Ryan
20. Sean Reidy
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ian Madigan
23. Tiernan O’Halloran

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