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Andy Farrell Opts For Strong Starting Ireland Team Against Japan

Andy Farrell Opts For Strong Starting Ireland Team Against Japan
By Colman Stanley Updated

As expected, Andy Farrell has named a strong team for Saturday's clash against Japan. It is a side close to first choice, and one which we will more than likely see next week against the All Blacks.

Jamison Gibson Park starts at scrum-half while Conor Murray takes a place on the bench, having only played 22 minutes of rugby for Munster this season.

Johnny Sexton, set to win his 100th cap in the game, is the starting out-half. The Irish captain still remains the most important player in the squad. While he will probably be leading the side during the next World Cup, Farrell must make strides this Autumn in the search for his backup.

James Lowe has been recalled to the starting team, after he endured a tough Six Nations that was littered with high-profile errors. However, if he can improve his defence he will be a major asset to this Ireland team.

Leinster's Dan Sheehan has been named on the bench, and the athletic hooker will be hoping to make his international debut and continue his speedy rise through the rugby ranks.

Fans hoping for a more adventurous selection with the likes of Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, and Robert Baloucounce, will be disappointed and will probably have to wait until the Argentina match to see major changes. This is not surprising however, with Farrell's Irish selections generally being on the conservative side against stronger teams.

The Irish coach's reign has been less than convincing so far and the coach will feel the need to ensure a win while also building cohesion for the daunting fixture against the All Blacks on Saturday week.

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Ireland team to play Japan

15. Hugo Keenan

14. Andrew Conway

13. Garry Ringrose

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12. Bundee Aki

11. James Lowe

10. Jonathan Sexton (captain)

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9. Jamison Gibson Park

1. Andrew Porter

2. Ronan Kelleher

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3. Tadhg Furlong

4. Tadhg Beirne

5. James Ryan

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6. Caelan Doris

7. Josh Van Der Flier

8. Jack Conan

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Replacements

16. Dan Sheehan

17. Cian Healy

18. Finlay Bealham

19. Iain Henderson

20. Peter O'Mahony

21. Conor Murray

22. Joey Carbery

23. Keith Earls

See Also: The Ireland Rugby Depth Chart Ahead Of The November Internationals

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