Johnny Sexton to captain Ireland for 100th cap against Japan

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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named the matchday squad for the opening Autumn Nations Series test match against Japan at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, November 6.

There are two significant cap milestones as captain Jonathan Sexton will win his 100th cap and Tadhg Furlong his 50th.

Sexton is joined at half-back by Jamison Gibson Park with Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose reunited in the centre for the first time since the rescheduled Six Nations fixture against Italy in October 2020.

Hugo Keenan starts at fullback in his 14th consecutive game for Ireland and is flanked in the backfield by Andrew Conway and James Lowe.

Seven Leinster players are present in the pack with Tadhg Beirne being the only exception in the second row.

The dominant trio of Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Furlong make up the Irish front row.

Beirne is slotted behind the three front-rowers, with Leinster lock James Ryan joining him in the number five shirt.

Another Leinster trio make up the back row – Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan.

The replacements named for Saturday’s game are uncapped hooker Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery and Keith Earls.

Ireland won the most recent match involving the two sides in July – a nine-try thriller that ended 39-31.

The game will kick-off at 1 pm and will be available to watch on RTÉ 2.

Ireland team v Japan

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 13 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 25 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 31 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 6 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 99 caps CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 10 caps

1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 49 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 22 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 9 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 20 caps

Replacements
16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne)*
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 109 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 16 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 63 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 76 caps
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 89 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 24 caps
23. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 93 caps

*denotes uncapped player

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