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Schmidt throws in the ‘big names’ for last ‘warm-up’ series test

(A big game from Jean Kleyn on Saturday could secure first World Cup start)
JOE Schmidt may have kept the cream of his crop until last after naming his match-day 23 for Saturday’s clash with Wales in the final Guinness Series Test game before the departure for Japan.
It could well be the starting fifteen that will take on Scotland as the Irish take the first hurdle in their quest for World Cup glory
Apart from Jordan Larmour on the right wing (Stockdale likely to get preference) the back five are almost certain to be selected while Murray and Sexton are already assured. The Healy, Best, Furlong front-row formation is the safe shot while Peter O’Mahony is another cert for the backrow instead of Jack Conan. Tadhg Beirne will also be in the running for that crucial first pool game.
The replacements are also interesting with Sean Cronin, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Jack Carty and Garry Ringrose all hungry to get a run.
As various opinions continue to be raised, Jean Kleyn will be in the spotlight. The Munsterman, who has apparently been favoured because of his power behind the front-row at scrum time, will be keen to show what he can do against the Welsh)
IRELAND Squad v Wales – 2019 Guinness Series
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 91 caps
14. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 15 caps
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 37 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 19 caps
11. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 77 caps
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 83 caps
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 73 caps
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 90 caps
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 119 caps CAPTAIN
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 35 caps
4. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 18 caps
5. Jean Kleyn (Munster) 2 caps
6. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 32 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 18 caps
8. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 15 caps
16. Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 69 caps
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 30 caps
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 17 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 47 caps
20. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 22
21. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
22. Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 6 caps
23. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps.
Wales have also named a strong side. It shows a rake of changes from last Saturday’s meeting with the Irish but contains seven changes from the team who convincingly beat Ireland to win the Grand Slam in March.
Liam Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Adam Beard and Josh Navidi (who played last week) are not named to start on Saturday though all bar Evans, who is being brought to Japan, are named among the replacements.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Rhys Patchell, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.
Subs: Ken Owens, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Josh Navidi, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams.

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