Ahead of Saturday’s GUINNESS Series showdown with Australia, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has made three changes to the team named for the opening game against South Africa.

Rory Best will win his 78th cap for Ireland when he lines out against the Wallabies on Saturday afternoon as the GUINNESS Series comes to an exciting conclusion.

The returning hooker is joined in the front row by Mike Ross and Jack McGrath, while Gordon D’Arcy is installed at inside centre with Robbie Henshaw moving to outside centre.

Rhys Ruddock, a try scorer against the Springboks, is named to start at openside flanker in a back row that contains Jamie Heaslip and Peter O’Mahony.

Paul O’Connell captains the side for what will be his 96th appearance for Ireland. He is partnered in the engine room by Devin Toner.

The half-back combination of Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton is retained from the South Africa game as is the back-three of Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe and Simon Zebo.

Sean Cronin, Dave Kilcoyne and Rodney Ah You provide front row cover on the bench, while Dave Foley is rewarded for his man-of-the-match performance against Georgia with a spot among the replacements.

Tommy O’Donnell is selected to cover the back-row and Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan and Felix Jones are the reserve backs.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Australia, 2014 GUINNESS Series, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, November 22, kick-off 4.30pm):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 56
14. Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 55
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht) 4
12. Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 80
11. Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) 10
10. Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92) 46
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 29

1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 11
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 77
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster) 43
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 19
5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) 95 (capt)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 24
7. Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 4
8. Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster) 68


16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 37
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 12
18. Rodney Ah You (Buccaneers/Connacht) 3
19. Dave Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster) 1
20. Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster) 6
21. Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 57
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock/Leinster) 12
23. Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster) 8


Gallery: 6 Nations and Celtic Challenge