Healy and Ryan make it to Ireland line-up for Six Nations game against Italy

Ireland's Johnny Sexton is to miss the RBS 6 Nations game with Italy
Ireland's Johnny Sexton is to miss the RBS 6 Nations game with Italy

Ireland have recalled Donnacha Ryan and Cian Healy into the starting line-up to take on Italy in the upcoming Six Nations clash in Rome on Saturday.

Ryan last played during the autumn internationals against New Zealand at Lansdowne Road and will replace lock Iain Henderson, who is suffering from a hamstring injury while prop Healy, who was on the bench in the opening game will take the place of Jack McGrath.

Paddy Jackson continues to be the preferred fly-half after Johnny Sexton hasn't made satisfying recovery from a calf injury.

Ulster wing Craig Gilroy has replaced Tommy Bowe on the bench with Andrew Trimble still struggling with a groin injury.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt described the move to bring Healy for McGrath as a part of their rotational policy.

"It was probably something we had planned to do anyway," said the Ireland coach.

"One plays 50 [minutes] and one 30 and vice verse. They both get 80 minutes over the first two weekends."

Schmidt also expects Ryan to play a vital role against Italy as they bid to keep their Six Nations hope alive.

"Donnacha is a pretty good line-out operator.

"He is a real technician in that area and he's got a good work-rate. Those two things we feel we are going to need this weekend," Schmidt added.

Ireland match-day 23 for clash against Italy:

R Kearney; K Earls, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, S Zebo; P Jackson, C Murray; C Healy, R Best (capt), T Furlong; D Ryan, D Toner; CJ Stander, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: N Scannell, J McGrath, J Ryan, U Dillane, J van der Flier, K Marmion, I Keatley, C Gilroy.

Our 6 Nations cover is sponsored by Allett Mowers


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