Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw will make his 6 Nations debut on Saturday, starting at inside centre in Ireland’s Championship opener against Italy. The 21-year-old will earn his sixth cap when he partners Jared Payne at Stadio Olimpico.

Paul O’Connell captain’s the side on his 97th cap for his country and is partnered in the second row by Devin Toner. The front-row is made up of Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Mike Ross.

The back-row consists of Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Jordi Murphy with Conor Murray and Ian Keatley filling the half-back slots.

The back three sees Rob Kearney flanked by Tommy Bowe and Simon Zebo.

Among the replacements are Sean Cronin, James Cronin, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Tommy O’Donnell, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan and Felix Jones.

Ireland’s opening fixture against Italy will kick-off in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico at 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time).

IRELAND team to play Italy – Saturday 7th February, 2015

15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14. Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
13. Jared Payne (Ulster)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
11. Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)
10. Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)

8. Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) captain
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)


16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
17. James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
18. Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
19. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
20. Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
21. Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster)
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock/Leinster)
23. Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)


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