Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his first starting fifteen for the first game of this year’s November test series.
The big news is that Connacht’s Bundee Aki is in line to make his Ireland debut as the 27-year-old is named alongside Rob Henshaw in the centre spots.
In what will be Ireland’s first test match since the summer tour of Japan, Schmidt is also able to welcome back those who missed that series while on British and Irish Lions duty in New Zealand.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 9, 2017
Elsewhere in the backs, Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Conway are selected on the wings, with Rob Kearney taking his place at full back. Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, as expected, are named at scrum-half and out-half respectively.
Captain Rory Best, who recently returned to action with Ulster, is selected to start with props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong either side of him, Ian Henderson and Devin Toner make up the second row, while flankers Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien are joined by number eight CJ Stander in a formidable looking lineup from the Ireland coach.
Darren Sweetnam is the only other uncapped player in the 23, with the Munster back named among the replacements on the bench.