Jonathan Sexton to captain Ireland against Russia

Johnny Sexton has recovered from a thigh injury
Johnny Sexton has recovered from a thigh injury

Ireland have received a much-needed boost ahead of their upcoming World Cup clash against Russia with Jonathan Sexton declared fit after recovering from a thigh injury.

Sexton will also become 106th player to lead Ireland with Rory Best rested for the encounter. The British and Irish Lions play-maker will start at fly-half and will have Luke McGrath at scrum-half. Rob Kearney retains his place at fullback with Keith Earls and Andrew Conway at wings.

David Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan all make their first start for Ireland in World Cup and are part of the front row with Tadhg Beirne and Jean Kleyn at second row.

Jordi Murphy, who was called up as an injury replacement for Jack Conan starts at number eight with Peter O’Mahony and Rhys Ruddock at flankers.

A 19-12 defeat to Japan in the previous game meant Ireland will need big wins over Russia and Samoa to keep their hope of quarter-finals alive.

Ireland starting line-up: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Peter O’Mahony, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Jean Kleyn, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Andrew Porter, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Joey Carbery, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Jordan Larmour


Ireland Fixtures