Rory Best, Tommy Bowe and Iain Henderson have been named in Ireland’s starting team to face Italy at the Olympic Stadium in London on Sunday.

Paul O’Connell captains the side and is joined in the second row by Henderson. The backrow is made up of Jamie Heaslip at number 8, Sean O’Brien at openside and Peter O’Mahony at blindside, with Ulster’s Chris Henry providing cover on the bench.

Mike Ross returns to the front row along with Best and Jack McGrath.

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton are paired at half-back, with Robbie Henshaw and Keith Earls in the centre. The back three is made up of Simon Zebo at fullback, with Bowe and Dave Kearney filling the wing positions.

Among the replacements are Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Devin Toner, Henry, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan and Luke Fitzgerald.


IRELAND team to play Italy – 04.10.15
15. Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)
14. Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
13. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
11. Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
10. Johnny Sexton (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Con/Munster)
5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster) captain
4. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s/Leinster)

16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
18. Nathan White (Connacht)
19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
20. Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster)
21. Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster)
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock/Leinster)
23. Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock/Leinster)

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