Ireland announce team to face New Zealand

Joe Schmidt has recalled Rob Kearney to the Ireland team to face New Zealand on Saturday with Leinster team-mates Garry Ringrose and Joey Carbery poised to make their Test debuts in Chicago.

Schmidt has gone for an experienced team with Jared Payne, who assumed the 15 jersey during the South Africa tour, renewing his midfield partnership with Robbie Henshaw, though three of the replacements stand to make their Test debut if called into action at Soldier Field (8.0pm kick-off).

Andrew Trimble and Simon Zebo will take their positions on the wing with Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray again the preferred half-back pairing.

Jordi Murphy has got the nod over provincial team-mate Josh van der Flier for the openside slot, with CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip making up the backrow.

Up front Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong will pit their wits against formidable opposition, while Donnacha Ryan has edged past Ultan Dillane to partner Devin Toner in the second row.

With a number of players unavailable, Schmidt’s options on the bench in his backline lack some experience, with Connacht’s Kieran Marmion and the uncapped Joey Carbery and Ringrose waiting in the wings.

Ireland team v New Zealand: Rob Kearney; Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, Donnacha Ryan; CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Garry Ringrose.

New Zealand team: Ben Smith; Waisake Naholo, George Moala, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Liam Squire; Jerome Kaino, Patrick Tuipulotu; Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, T.J. Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa

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