Henderson in to start for Ireland, Lowe keeps place

Andy Farrell’s selection for Ireland’s Test vs New Zealand in Dublin on Saturday: Iain Henderson comes in to start in second row, as Tadhg Beirne drops down to bench in only change to the starting XV; hooker Rob Herring replaces Dan Sheehan on
bench; James Lowe keeps place on wing

By Michael Cantillon

Last Updated: 11/11/21 3:24pm

Iain Henderson has come in to start in the second row in Ireland’s only change to face New Zealand

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has made one change to his starting XV to take on the All Blacks, as Ulster lock Iain Henderson comes in to start.

As a result of Henderson starting alongside James Ryan, Munster’s Tadhg Beirne is dropped down to the bench as second-row cover.

Elsewhere, the side remains the same, as Leinster wing James Lowe – who was dropped during the Six Nations, such was his poor form – retains his place on the left wing.

James Lowe starts on the left wing for Ireland, having kept his place

The other major selection call sees scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park start over Conor Murray, with the latter beginning on the bench.

Again, Farrell picks an Ireland XV to start which contains 12 Leinster players, with five experienced Munster performers on the bench in reserve.

Full-back Hugo Keenan combines with Munster’s Andrew Conway and Lowe in the back-three, while Robbie Henshaw has not recovered from injury in time to start over either Garry Ringrose or Connacht’s Bundee Aki in the centres.

Skipper Johnny Sexton partners Gibson-Park at half-back, while a powerful all-Leinster front-row of Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong start again.

Scrum-half Conor Murray must make do with starting among the replacements

The back-row, which is also all Leinster, sees Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan all start.

On the bench, there is one further alteration to last week’s squad as Ulster hooker Rob Herring replaces Dan Sheehan.

Cian Healy and Finlay Bealham provide loosehead and tighthead cover respectively, while Munster quintet Beirne, Peter O’Mahony, Murray, Joey Carbery and Keith Earls complete the replacements.

Ireland: 15 Huge Keenan, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 James Ryan, 6 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Jack Conan.

Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Keith Earls.

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