Schmidt names team to face Italy

Joe Schmidt has announced a strong Irish team to take on the Italians in Soldier’s Field Chicago with a kick off of 8pm Irish time.

The forwards will see Leinster duo Jack McGrath and Andrew Porter in the front row. Niall Scannell is named at hooker. The second row will see Connacht’s Quinn Roux partner Tadgh Beirne at number 4 and 5. Its an all Leinster 6,7 and 8, with Rhyd Ruddock at number 6 and captain, while at 7 Josh Van Der Flier is named. Jack Conan will wear the number 8 Jersey.

At number 9 Luke McGrath gets the nod and will partner his former Leinster team mate Joey Carbery. Jacob Stockdale will be looking to continue his impressive scoring record as he starts on the wing, in the centre Bundee Ali will partner Garry Ringrose. Andrew Conway is named on the other wing, while Jordan Larmour starts at full back.

The bench is also quite strong. Sean Cronin and David Kilcoyne are named on the bench along with Finlay Bealham. Devin Toner will provide cover for Tadgh Beirne at 4. Ulster’s Jordi Murphy is also named on the substitutes bench. He will provide cover for positions at 6,7 and 8 if needs be. Leinster’s Ross Byrne is also named in the squad and he will provide cover for Joey Carbery at fly half. Connacht’s Will Addison is also named and along with Byrne is the two players that will be looking to make their Ireland debut on Saturday.

The current odds for the game have Ireland at a massive 1/40, while Italy are 19/1 and the draw is 75/1. The handicap market betting has Ireland – 28 at 10/11. If was having a bet in the game would go for an Ireland win by 21-30 points at odds of 3/1.


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