Friday 21 October 2016

Rugby World Cup 2015: Luke Fitzgerald gets nod for Canada test as Robbie Henshaw is ruled out

Luke Fitzgerald crosses for Ireland’s fourth
Luke Fitzgerald crosses for Ireland’s fourth

Luke Fitzgerald will make his World Cup debut against Canada on Saturday after being named at inside centre.

Robbie Henshaw has been ruled out with a hamstring injury but it isn’t thought to be serious enough to rule him out for the tournament.

Henshaw pulled up in training midweek and sat out this morning’s session in Cardiff.

This is the second consecutive game that Ireland have had to reshuffle their back line with a late withdrawal.

Rob Kearney (knee) was unexpectedly forced out of the game against England but he is fit enough to return, as are Conor Murray and Keith Earls (both concussion).

As expected, Iain Henderson gets a chance to further stake his claim in the second-row alongside Paul O’Connell as Joe Schmidt looks to hit the ground running at the Millennium Stadium.

Cian Healy is named amongst the replacements and is set to make his return from injury. The loosehead prop hasn’t played since May after undergoing neck surgery.

Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip make up a formidable back-row that is expected to be Schmidt’s first choice for the remainder of the tournament.

Ireland team (to play Canada) – R Kearney; D Kearney, J Payne, L Fitzgerald, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; I Henderson, P O’Connell; P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip. Reps – S Cronin, C Healy, N White, D Ryan, C Henry, E Reddan, I Madigan, S Zebo.

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