Ireland take on Tonga this Saturday (kick-off: 8pm), at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes in their second game of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Head coach Andy Farrell opted for a near full strength side against Romania, with the accomplished aim of securing momentum for the rest of the tournament; something which past sides have struggled with.
Farrell has stated that any combination of his 33 man squad will be strong, suggesting that he is willing to shake up the side for Tonga.
Dave Kilcoyne and Dan Sheehan are back in the mix after missing the Romania game through injury, although Jack Conan will not be fit until at least the South Africa game.
The most discussed call is whether Johnny Sexton will be involved, but given how seamlessly his return was against Romania, we feel that giving Jack Crowley another start, while also involving Ross Byrne, should take precedent.
The likes of Ryan Baird, Stuart McCloskey, and Craig Casey will also add big ball carrying and high tempo play, which, as we saw in the first match when it was brought by Bundee Aki and Jamison Gibson-Park, was too much for the opposition.
We've also opted to rest the likes of Hugo Keenan, James Ryan, and James Lowe, with the feeling that there is no point in risking injury.
Ireland Face Off Against Tonga This Saturday
The Ireland 23 we want to see vs Tonga:
- Dave Kilcoyne
- Dan Sheehan
- Tadhg Furlong
- Iain Henderson
- Tadhg Beirne
- Ryan Baird
- Josh van der Flier
- Caelan Doris
- Craig Casey
- Jack Crowley
- Mack Hansen
- Stuart McCloskey
- Robbie Henshaw
- Keith Earls
- Jimmy O'Brien
Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Peter O'Mahony, Conor Murray, Ross Byrne, Bundee Aki.