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Our Changed But Experienced Ireland 23 To Take On Italy

Our Changed But Experienced Ireland 23 To Take On Italy
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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Andy Farrell has named a 37-man squad ahead of the Six Nations clash between Ireland and Italy on Saturday (kick-off 2.15 pm).

After releasing the likes of Jordan Larmour and Gavin Coombes to play for their provinces over the weekend, there were fears that they would not be considered for Italy.

With these fears now eased, we have had a crack at selecting a 23 man squad for Saturday - a side which be good enough to secure a comfortable victory, while giving opportunity to those who need it most.

Some of the changes from the France game are injury enforced, with Iain Henderson coming in for Tadhg Beirne, while Rónan Kelleher and Jack Conan are interchangeable with Dan Sheehan and Peter O'Mahony.

Coombes and Larmour fall under the category of player who could legitimately make a case for a spot in the first-choice 23, and are thus given an opportunity to do so. This is another reason not to change too much, as these guys need to be played in a strong XV to see them at their best.

Craig Casey and Ross Byrne also need more minutes to build on their excellent cameos against the French.

The one 'experiment' of sorts is our selection of Mack Hansen at fullback. But, if Farrell intends to continue to use him as fullback cover, then he must be tested there at this level.


Ross Byrne Needs Game Time To Build On His Cameo Against France

11 February 2023; Irish Rugby : Ross Byrne, left, and Jonathan Sexton of Ireland celebrate after the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

READ HERE: Balls.ie's Greatest Ireland U20s XV Of All-Time


Our 23 man squad to face Italy:

1. Andrew Porter

2. Rónan Kelleher


3. Finlay Bealham


4. Iain Henderson

5. James Ryan


6. Jack Conan

7. Josh van der Flier

8. Gavin Coombes


9. Craig Casey

10. Ross Byrne

11. James Lowe


12. Stuart McCloskey

13. Garry Ringrose

14. Jordan Larmour

15. Mack Hansen

Bench: Kilcoyne, Sheehan, O'Toole, Treadwell, Baird, Murray, Crowley, Aki.

SEE ALSO: BOD And Jamie Roberts Rekindle Their Partnership With A Masterclass Demo On Centre Play

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