Caelan Doris named captain as Ireland make six changes to face Italy

Caelan Doris has been named Ireland captain for the first time as Ireland make six changes for Sunday’s clash against Italy at the Aviva Stadium.

Doris will start the game at flanker, with his Leinster teammate Jack Conan starting at number eight as Andy Farrell changes the team up from their win in France last Friday.

There one change in the front row, with Finlay Bealham coming in for Tadhg Furlong, who is left out of the squad. He partners Dan Sheehan and Andrew Porter.

James Ryan comes back into the starting 15 alongside Joe McCarthy, with Ryan Baird in for Peter O’Mahony, who is not in the squad.

Craig Casey comes into the starting 15 to partner Jack Crowley, with Stuart McCloskey starting at inside centre in place of Bundee Aki.

The back three remains the same as last weekend, with Calvin Nash set to make his first home Six Nations start.

In the replacements, Jeremey Loughman and Tom O’Toole come into the match day squad, alongside Ulster’s Iain Henderson.

Josh Van Der Flier is the back row cover, with Jamison Gibson-Park the scrum-half replacement. Harry Byrne could make his Six Nations debut, with Jordan Larmour providing cover for the back three as Ireland switch back to a 5/3 split.

Ireland team to face Italy: Hugo Keenan (Leinster); Calvin Nash (Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), James Lowe (Leinster); Jack Crowley (Munster), Craig Casey (Munster); Andrew Porter (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht); Joe McCarthy (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster); Ryan Baird (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster, capt), Jack Conan (Leinster).

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher (Leinster), Jeremy Loughman (Munster), Tom O’Toole (Ulster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Harry Byrne (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster).


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