Injured Henshaw misses out as Schmidt names squad for World Cup opener
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has announced his starting 15 for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup clash with Canada, which kicks off at 2:30pm.
Following a training injury Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw has been ruled out of the match, with Luke Fitzgerald set to partner Jared Payne in the centre.
Tommie Bowe’s disappointing performance against England means Dave Kearney will take a starting position with Munster’s Keith Earls on the opposite wing, while Rob Kearney returns from his knee injury to start at full back.
Superstars Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton will both be fielded from the get-go.
Although fit, Cian Healy will not be starting as Schmidt sticks with Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Mike Ross up front.
The tallest man in rugby Devin Toner is also missing out as Ulster's young-gun Iain Henderson takes the No 4 jersey alongside Ireland’s captain Paul O’Connell.
The back row will remain unchanged with Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip lining up together.
Ireland starting squad V Canada:
R Kearney; D Kearney, J Payne, L Fitzgerald, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; I Henderson, P O’Connell; P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip. Reps – S Cronin, C Healy, N White, D Ryan, C Henry, E Reddan, I Madigan, S Zebo.
Ireland V Canada, coverage starts on TV3 from 1pm.