Ulster full-back Michael Lowry handed Ireland debut for game against Italy

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell

Ulster full-back Michael Lowry has been included in the starting line up of Ireland for the third round Six Nations clash against Italy to be played at Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Lowry has been named at fullback at the expense of Hugo Keenan while James Lowe returns from injury to start at left wing with Mack Hansen shifting to right.

Robbie Henshaw will make his first start in the ongoing competition joining Garry Ringrose at midfield. Johnny Sexton has recovered from a hamstring problem but will be amongst the replacements with Joey Carbery taking the number 10 role forming halfback partnership with Jamison Gibson-Park.

In the back-row Peter O’Mahony comes in at blindside to lead the side with Caelan Doris moving to number eight and Josh van der Flier starts at openside.

With injuries to Ronan Kelleher and James Ryan, Ryan Baird comes at second row joining Tadhg Beirne while front row sees a change with Dan Sheehan replacing Ronan Kelleher.

Ireland are positioned third in the Six Nations table with a win and a defeat apiece in the two games.

Ireland XV: 15 Michael Lowry, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Ryan Baird, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter

Reserves: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 James Hume


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