Rob Kearney has fended off the challenge of Jordan Larmour to start Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday.
Full-back Kearney missed Ireland’s 47-5 win over Samoa having failed to train fully in the week leading up to that seven-try win in Fukuoka.
His Leinster team-mate Larmour impressed against the Samoans as Ireland sealed the bonus-point win required to book their place in the last eight, but head coach Joe Schmidt has restored 94-cap Kearney to what amounts to Ireland’s strongest starting XV, barring the suspended Bundee Aki.
Garry Ringrose returns at outside centre with Robbie Henshaw stepping inside to 12 to offset the absence of Aki, who was sent off against Samoa.
Peter O’Mahony slots in ahead of Tadhg Beirne at blindside flanker, with Rory Best captaining the side in an unchanged tight five.
More to follow…
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