Ireland ring changes for rugby Test against Canada


Dublin (AFP)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt selected a revamped starting XV after last weekend's historic win over New Zealand when he named his side for Saturday's clash with Canada.

Several of the replacements from the 40-29 victory over the world champions -- their first in 29 Tests -- get a start including highly rated centre Garry Ringrose.

The 21-year-old -- who many see as a potentially great centre in the mould of retired icon Brian O'Driscoll -- gets his first start in an Ireland jersey.

"He's (Ringrose) given us confidence that he's ready and I don't doubt that he's ready to get started," said Schmidt at a press conference.

"Garry's a really natural player. He sees things ahead of other people because of how well he reads the game.

"And he's defensively astute too.

"With the experience we have around him in that backline, with Luke Marshall who went very well in South Africa, I think hopefully it's a good balance."

Schmidt has peppered the side with experienced players too as flanker Peter O'Mahony will skipper the side and makes his return to the Test arean since he suffered a serious knee injury in last year's World Cup victory over pool rivals France.

Fellow flanker the injury-plagued Sean O'Brien also comes back after a spell on the sidelines -- his first Test since the 10-9 Six Nations loss to France in February.

Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson -- who missed out on the trip to Chicago for the All Blacks game -- and Kieran Marmion form the halfback partnership against a side the Irish put to the sword in their opening pool game at teh World Cup.

Schmidt also gives first Test starts to the second row forwards Billy Holland and Jack O'Donoghue -- there are another five uncapped players on the bench.

Should they have a bad day in the scrum engine room their Munster team-mate Donnacha Ryan -- who is the only one who started the All Blacks match to feature in the 23 man squad -- is on the replacements bench.

Team (15-1)

(Kick-off 1915GMT)

Tiernan O'Halloran; Craig Gilroy, Garry Ringrose, Luke Marshall, Keith Earls; Paddy Jackson, Kieran Marmion; Jack O'Donoghue, Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony (capt); Billy Holland, Ultan Dillane; Finlay Beaham, Sean Cronin, Cian Healy

Replacements (16-23): James Tracy, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Donnacha Ryan, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Niyi Adeolokun