05/08/2021

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RUGBY: Ireland team named for first Test against Japan

RUGBY: Ireland team named for first Test against Japan

File photo. Photo:Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Andy Farrell has named his Ireland Match Day 23 for Saturday's Test with Japan in the opening game of the Summer Series.

James Ryan will wear the captain’s armband on Saturday and will be partnered in the second row by Ultan Dillane. Fans will also be delighted to see Joey Carbery make his long-awaited return to the Ireland fold.

Peter O’Mahony starts on the blindside flank and is joined in the backrow by Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris, who makes his international return after missing the 2021 Six Nations Championships. The front row is made up of Dave Kilcoyne, Ronan Kelleher and Finlay Bealham.

At half-back Jamison Gibson Park will partner Joey Carbery who returns to the international scene for the first time since the Rugby World Cup in 2019. Stuart McCloskey and Chris Farrell are paired in midfield with Jacob Stockdale and Jordan Larmour on the wings and Hugo Keenan is at fullback.

The replacements include Rob Herring, Ed Byrne, John Ryan, Ryan Baird, the uncapped  Gavin Coombes, Craig Casey, Billy Burns and Shane Daly.

Last weekend Jamie Joseph’s Brave Blossoms made the British and Irish Lions work hard for their 28-10 victory in Murrayfield.

Five Ireland players - Chris Farrell, Jacob Stockdale, Josh van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony and James Ryan started against Japan in the last encounter between the two sides at the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Dave Kilcoyne, Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour featuring off the bench that day in Shizuoka.

The match will be televised by RTE (ROI) Channel 4 (NI) and kicks off at 1.00pm.

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