Joe Schmidt has included four Connacht players in his match day squad for round 4 of the 6 Nations against Italy on Saturday (1pm).

Robbie Henshaw will line out at inside centre at the Aviva Stadium for his fourth start of the campaign. His fellow Connacht back Kieran Marmion will be hoping for his first taste of international action in 2016 after he was an unused sub in the opening test with Wales. He takes his place alongside Nathan White and Ultan Dillane on the replacements bench.

Rory Best captain’s the side with Jack McGrath and Mike Ross alongside him in the front row.  The second row partnership of Donnacha Ryan and Devin Toner is retained as is the backrow of Josh van der Flier at openside, CJ Stander at blindside and Jamie Heaslip at No.8.

The halfbacks are Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton with Henshaw and Jared Payne reunited in midfield.  Simon Zebo comes into fullback with Keith Earls and Andrew Trimble completing the back three.

IRELAND team to play Italy – Saturday 12th March, 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship

15. Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)
14. Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
13. Jared Payne (Ulster)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
11. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)

1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (c)
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4. Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
5. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
6. CJ Stander (Munster)
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) (vc)

Replacements
16. Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
18. Nathan White (Connacht)
19. Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)
20. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
21. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
23. Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

 

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