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Keith Earls’ hamstring injury keeps him out of Ireland test

THE hamstring injury picked up this week in training by Keith Earls has kept him out of Saturday’s opening Guinness Series Test against South Africa in the Aviva Stadium, 5.30pm. He may now be out for the rest of the series.
There was good news for Andrew Conway, who starts on the right wing with fellow Munster players Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander also in the starting line-up.
Darren Sweetnam could win his first cap after being named on the bench with Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan deserving their inclusions in the replacements.
Rory Best returns to captain the side having missed the Summer Tour as a member of the British & Irish Lions squad. Best is joined in the front row by Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong. Iain Henderson and Devin Toner pack down in the second row with Sean O’Brien overcoming his injury scare taking the seven jersey.
Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton fill the half-back slots while Bundee Aki is reunited with his old midfield partner Robbie Henshaw in the middle of the field. Jacob Stockdale slots in for Earls on the wing with Rob Kearney at fullback.
The opening Test match of the 2017 Guinness Series at the Aviva Stadium against South Africa kicks off at 17.30 and has been sold out since early October. The third game of the series against Argentina is also sold out while there remain a limited number of tickets available for the middle fixture against Fiji.
IRELAND v South Africa, Saturday 11th November 2017
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 76 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 3 caps
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 29 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) uncapped
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 2 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 66 caps
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 57 caps
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 70 caps
2. Rory Best (c) (Banbridge/Ulster) c 104 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 16 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 32 caps
5. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 50 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 40 caps
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 49 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 15 caps
Replacements
16. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 1 cap
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 20 caps
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 9 caps
19. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 2 caps
20. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 16 caps
21. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 16 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 4 caps
23. Darren Sweetnam (Cork Constitution/Munster) uncapped

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