Joe Schmidt makes four changes for Ireland vs Italy 2018 Six Nations


Head coach Joe Schmidt has made four changes from the team that edged France on the opening weekend of the Six Nations for Ireland’s clash with Italy on Saturday.

The changes come up front with Dan Leavy and Jack Conan coming into the back row, Jack McGrath starting at prop and Devin Toner getting the nod at lock in place of James Ryan.

Rob Kearney retains his place, despite a lacklustre performance against France which saw Teddy Thomas leave the veteran fullback for dead on his way to scoring the game’s only try.

Jordan Larmour could make a first Irish start off a replacements’ bench which also includes Joey Carbery, CJ Stander and Cian Healy named.

Ireland: Kearney, Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale, Sexton, Murray; McGrath, Best (captain), Furlong, Henderson, Toner, O’Mahony, Leavy, Conan.

Replacements: Cronin, Healy, Porter, Roux, Stander, Marmion, Carbery, Larmour.

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