Schmidt trusts in old guard to repeat All Blacks feat

Ireland's starting line-up includes 12 of the team that beat New Zealand for the second time in three years last November.

TOKYO, 17 Oct - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named 12 of the starting XV that beat New Zealand in Dublin last November in the hopes of a repeat in Tokyo on Saturday. 

Old reliables Rob Kearney, above right, and Peter O'Mahony will start the quarter-final at full-back and blindside flanker respectively, despite Jordan Larmour and Tadhg Beirne making strong cases for inclusion with impressive performances at RWC 2019.

There are no surprises in Schmidt's selection as the coach sticks with the core of the team who have delivered big results for him.

At the heart of the side, half-back pair Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton will start their 56th test together to eclipse the Irish record set by Peter Stringer and Ronan O'Gara. 

Outside Sexton, Garry Ringrose comes in for the suspended Bundee Aki and will play at 13, with Robbie Henshaw moving to inside-centre. 

Of Saturday's starting XV, only Murray and Henshaw missed the 16-9 victory in Dublin, while second-row Iain Henderson started on the bench.


1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (capt.)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O'Mahony
7. Josh Van der Flier
8. CJ Stander
9. Conor Murray
10. Johnny Sexton
11. Jacob Stockdale
12. Robbie Henshaw
13. Garry Ringrose
14. Keith Earls
15. Rob Kearney

16. Niall Scannell
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Andrew Porter
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Luke McGrath
22. Joey Carbery
23. Jordan Larmour

RNS sdg/ae/rl