Australia v Ireland: Five Ireland changes for decisive third Test

Third Test: Australia v Ireland
Date: Saturday, 23 June Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 11:05 BST
Coverage: Text commentary and match report on BBC Sport website

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has made five changes to his side for the decisive third Test against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

There are two switches in the front row as prop Jack McGrath and hooker Sean Cronin come in, with Niall Scannell and Cian Healy dropping to the bench.

Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale returns to the starting line-up, as do Jack Conan and Bundee Aki.

They replace injured trio Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose and Dan Leavy.

Schmidt also makes three positional changes, with captain Peter O’Mahony moving to open-side flanker, CJ Stander shifting to blindside to accommodate Conan, and Robbie Henshaw starting at outside centre.

Stockdale, McGrath and Aki were in the team for the opening Test, but it will be a first start of the series for Cronin and Conan.

Fly-half Ross Byrne<!–

There were further changes among the Ireland reserves, with John Cooney and Joey Carbery replaced by Kieran Marmion and Ross Byrne – the only member of the Irish squad not to have been involved in a matchday squad on the tour so far.

Rob Herring drops out of the squad, while John Ryan has been named ahead of Andrew Porter.

Australia coach Michael Cheika has selected blind-side flanker Lukhan Tui for his first start and moved David Pocock to number eight, while Caleb Timu drops out of their 23-man squad altogether.

The series is delicately poised after Ireland responded to Australia’s 18-9 victory in the opening Test in Brisbane by winning the second Test in Melbourne 26-21.

Six Nations champions Ireland, who only trail world title-holders New Zealand in the international standings, have not won a series in Australia since they swept a two-Test tour in 1979.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack Conan, Peter O’Mahony (capt), CJ Stander; James Ryan, Devin Toner; Tadhg Furlong, Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Jordi Murphy, Kieran Marmion, Ross Byrne, Jordan Larmour.

Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; David Pocock, Michael Hooper (captain), Lukhan Tui; Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda; Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Scott Sio.

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Joe Powell, Reece Hodge.

Share if you enjoyed this post!

Source link