Andy Farrell mixes the old and the little on his squad as a kind of rugby wedding. He will want the type of party that ends with a happy song full of sadness, rather than the finale being a complete screaming match about whether someone’s kids are bullying others. Maybe this is just the weddings I go to.
Hugo Keenan, the exciting young Leinster winger begins, with Jacob Stockdale moving to full-back to accommodate it. Kennan was joined as a junior student by his classmate Will Connors in the back row with Connors after he came somewhat of a breakdown rule that made his low-tackling ability valuable. The other players who will make their debut today are Ed Byrne and Jameson Gibson Park from the bench.
An experienced spine of 8, 9 and 10 stays in place with Standard, Murray, and Sexton respectively to fill in the shirts again.
Italy has another poor pigs recruited to try to solve their void in the outer half that has been a desolate void that largely sucks life since Diego Dominguez retired. Next comes Paolo Garbisi, 20, who has played two Pro14 matches under his belt. He looks very talented and besides him will have Carlo Cana experience; But this is quite the suboptimal context for claiming the first cap.
Ireland: Jacob Stockdale (Lorgan / Ulster); Andrew Conway (Garryowen / Munster), Garry Ringrose (UCD / Leinster), Bundee Aki (Galwegians / Connacht), Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster); Jonathan Sexton (St Mary’s College / Leinster) (captain), Connor Murray (Jarwin / Munster); Cian Healy (Clontarf / Leinster), Rob Herring (Ballynahinch / Ulster), Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster), Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne / Munster), James Ryan (UCD / Leinster), Caelan Doris (UCD / Leinster), Will Connors (UCD / Leinster), CJ Stander (Shannon / Munster).
Alternatives: Dave Heffernan (The Pirates / Connacht), Ed Byrne (UCD / Leinster), Finlay Pelham (Galway Corinthians / Connect), Oltan Dylan (Galway Corinthians / Connect), Peter O’Mahoney (Constitution of Cork / Munster), Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster), Ross Byrne (UCD / Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers / Leinster).
Italy: Jayden Hayward (Benetton Rugby); Eduardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby), Luca Morrissey (Benetton Rugby), Carlo Cana (Zebri), Mattia Bellini (Zebri); Paolo Garbisi (Benetton Rugby), Marcelo Fioli (Zebri); Danilo Fischetti (Zebre), Luca Bigi (Zebre) (capt), Giosuè Zilocchi (Zebre), Marco Lazzaroni (Benetton Rugby), Niccol Cannone (Benetton Rugby), Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby), Braam Steyugn (Benetton Rugby) Gloucester).
Alternatives: Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby), Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby), Pietro Cicarelli (Brave), David Cisse (Zebri), Johan Mayer (Zebri), Maxime Mbanda (Zebri), Callum Braley (Benetton Rugby), Federico Morey (Kawasaki Robot) (Calfissano).