Ireland’s preparations for the Rugby World Cup 2019 continue with a warm up match against Italy at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.

Joe Schmidt has named a rotated squad including Rob Herring and Jordi Murphy in the starting lineup, and Iain Henderson providing impact off the bench. Unfortunately, Schmidt has returned to New Zealand after a family bereavement but will return for the World Cup warm-up game against Italy.

Assistant coach Andy Farrell took charge of training on Monday and Tuesday and Thursday in his absence.

Jean Kleyn makes his debut in the second row while Mike Haley is in line to make his first appearance off the bench. Former Ulster player Chris Farrell starts at inside centre while future Ulster player Jack McGrath starts at loosehead.

Henderson and Murphy’s involvement in Japan looks nailed on, however this is a chance for Herring to show Joe Schmidt that he’s got what it takes to be Rory Best’s understudy at the World Cup.

Herring takes over from Rory Best at hooker and is joined by Jack McGrath and Andrew Porter in the front row. Devin Toner and Jean Kleyn make up the lock pairing while Rhys Ruddock captains the side from blindside flanker. Tommy O’Donnell and Jordi Murphy round off the back row at seven and eight respectively.

Joey Carbery gets another crack of the whip, ahead of Jack Carty, at out half with Luke McGrath at scrum half. Chris Farrell and Garry Ringrose are the centre pairing while Dave Kearney and Andrew Conway start on the wings. Jordan Larmour scored a hat-trick against Italy in Chicago last November and starts once again at fullback.

Ireland have four warm up games top prepare for another World Cup where it looks like they have peaked too early!

With only a squad of 31 travelling to the Japan 2019, there could be a few casualties in the aftermath of the Italy match. Ireland round off their warm up period with a trip to England and Wales before welcoming the Grand Slam winners to the Aviva Stadium on the 7th September.

Italy have named an almost full strength side. Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito start in the back three along with Giulio Besigni. Maxime Mbanda impressed during the Six Nations while there’s also a spot on the bench for Mateo Minozzi who returns from injury. The new Wasps’ recruit is an exciting young player with the ability to carve defences open from broken play.

The FRU predicts: Despite a rotated Irish side, Joe Schmidt’s men should win this and while the majority of this side will not take the pitch against Scotland in the opening match a decent performance with a few tries is necessary to build momentum.

Ireland   Italy
Jordan Larmour 15 Edoardo Padovani
Andrew Conway 14 Angelo Esposito
Garry Ringrose 13 Tomasso Benvenuti
Chris Farrell 12 Marco Zanon
Dave Kearny 11 Giulio Besigni
Joey Carbery 10 Carlo Canna
Luke McGrath 9 Giuglielmo Palazzani
Jack McGrath 1 Nicola Quaglio
Rob Herring 2 Olivero Fabiani
Andrew Porter 3 Marco Riccioni
Devin Toner 4 Alessandro Zanni
Jean Kleyn 5 Dean Budd
Rhys Ruddock 6 Giovanni Licata
Tommy O’Donnell 7 Maxime Mbanda
Jordi Murphy 8 Jimmy Tuivaiti
     
Niall Scannell 16 Federico Zani
Cian Healy 17 Andrea Lovotti
John Ryan 18 Simone Ferrrari
Iain Henderson 19 Marco Lazzardni
Tadhg Beirne 20 Renato Giammarioli
Kieran Marmion 21 Calum Bradley
Jack Carty 22 Ian McKinley
Mike Haley 23 Mateo Minozzi

#SUFTUM