Ireland name side for first Test against New Zealand

Johnny Sexton will be captaining Ireland
Johnny Sexton will be captaining Ireland

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named the matchday squad for the opening Test against New Zealand to be played on Saturday at Eden Park.

Johnny Sexton will be captaining the side and will form halfback partnership with Jamison Gibson-Park while Peter O'Mahony has been preferred in the back row over Jack Conan and will be joined Leinster duo Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris.

Tadhg Beirne takes the place of injured Iain Henderson and will be accompanied by James Ryan in second row while Dan Sheenan, Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong are part of the front row.

Keith Earls makes it to the right wing despite featuring in all 80 minutes during the game against Maori All Blacks with James Lowe at left wing and Hugo Keenan at fullback.

Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw pair up in the centre while Bundee Aki, who captained them during the match against the Maori All Blacks is on the bench that also has Cian Healy after the latter had overcome an ankle injury.

Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray and Joey Carbery also feature in the squad and are set to provide impact from the bench.

Ireland will be hoping to bounce back following a 17-32 defeat to Maori All Blacks in the tour earlier in the week.

Ireland XV: Hugo Keenan; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan; Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

Reserves: Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Cian Healy, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Bundee Aki


Ireland Fixtures