Stander and Kearney fit to face Australia
CJ Stander and Rob Karney have been passed while Garry Ringrose will partner Jared Payne in the centre as Ireland make four changes for Saturday’s Test against Australia.
Ringrose is one of two injury-enforced changes made by Schmidt, with Paddy Jackson starting at fly-half in place of Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
The 21-year-old Ringrose is picked to start at inside centre alongside Jackson. He fills in for Robbie Henshaw, who misses the game after suffering a concussion in a brutal collision with Sam Cane in the first half against New Zealand last Saturday.
Ireland had drafted Ulster centre Stuart Olding into their squad in midweek but Schmidt has opted against pairing him alongside Payne, his team-mate at club level.
There is one further change to the back-line as Keith Earls is picked to start on the left wing over Munster team-mate Simon Zebo, who drops to the bench after starting both Tests against New Zealand.
In the forwards, Ulster second row Iain Henderson comes into the side at the expense of Munster’s Donnacha Ryan, who is beaten out for a place in the match-day 23 by Connacht lock Ultan Dillane.
Both full-back Rob Kearney and blindside flanker CJ Stander have overcome concussion issues to start.
Stander’s recovery means Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier must once again be content with a place on the bench, despite two barnstorming displays as a substitute against the All Blacks.
Captain Rory Best will make his 100th appearance for Ireland against the Wallabies as he follows in the footsteps of Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Paul O’Connell and John Hayes.
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Garry Ringrose, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Jack McGrath, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 Devin Toner, 6 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O’Brien, 8 Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Simon Zebo