Ireland name team to face Italy

Ireland have named their starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations encounter with Italy, with Declan Kidney making no changes to the team that was due to play France.

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The Irish team will have to play four matches in four weeks after their match with France was postponed.

Keith Earls again starts at outside-centre having replaced Fergus McFadden, who started against Wales.

Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross make up the front row, with Donncha O’Callaghan and Paul O’Connell starting at lock. The back-row consists of Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip.

Jonathan Sexton continues at out-half and is joined by scrum-half Conor Murray.

Earls’s partner at centre is Gordon D’Arcy, while Tommy Bowe and and Andrew Trimble start at wing and Rob Kearney at full-back.

Ireland XV to play Italy: 15 Rob Kearney 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Keith Earls 12 Gordon D’Arcy 11 Andrew Trimble 10 Jonathan Sexton 9 Conor Murray 1 Cian Healy 2 Rory Best 3 Mike Ross 4 Donncha O’Callaghan 5 Paul O’Connell 6 Stephen Ferris 7 Sean O’Brien 8 Jamie Heaslip

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin 17 Tom Court 18 Donnacha Ryan 19 Peter O’Mahony 20 Eoin Reddan 21 Ronan O’Gara 22 Fergus McFadden


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