Autumn Internationals: Johnny Sexton returns to lead Ireland against Australia, Bundee Aki back on bench | Rugby Union News

Ireland host Australia at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday; captain Johnny Sexton has recovered from a dead leg sustained against South Africa; Stuart McCloskey and Garry Ringrose start in midfield; Bundee Aki is now available for selection after suspension and is named on bench

Last Updated: 17/11/22 2:45pm

Ireland's Johnny Sexton missed the team's meeting with Fiji due to a dead leg he sustained against South Africa

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton missed the team’s meeting with Fiji due to a dead leg he sustained against South Africa

Johnny Sexton returns from injury to lead Ireland against Australia on Saturday. Bundee Aki is available again after a suspension and features on the bench.

Sexton suffered a dead leg against South Africa and duly missed out on the team’s encounter with Fiji last weekend.

Ireland’s captain will line-up with Jamison Gibson-Park as his half-back partner and the duo will have a midfield of Stuart McCloskey and Garry Ringrose outside of them.

Hugo Keenan is named at full-back and will earn his 25th cap, as Jimmy O’Brien and Mack Hansen moves to the right.

James Ryan returns to the second row to partner Tadhg Beirne. Josh van der Flier and Peter O’Mahony return to the back row, with Caelan Doris switching from the blindside to No 8.

Ireland’s Autumn Internationals

Saturday, November 5 Ireland 19-16 South Africa 5.30pm
Saturday, November 12 Ireland 35-17 Fiji 1pm
Saturday, November 19 Ireland vs Australia 8pm

Joe McCarthy is named amongst the replacements and could earn his first senior cap for Ireland if called upon during the encounter.

Aki has 40 caps worth of experience to add to the game while Craig Casey has the chance to play against Australia for the first time.

Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Jimmy O’Brien, 10. Johnny Sexton (captain), 9. Jamison Gibson Park, 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Dan Sheehan, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris.

Replacements: 16. Rob Herring, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. Joe McCarthy, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Craig Casey, 22. Jack Crowley, 23. Bundee Aki.

Australia: 15. Andrew Kellaway, 14. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13. Len Ikitau, 12. Hunter Paisami, 11. Tom Wright, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nic White, 1. James Slipper (captain), 2.Dave Porecki, 3.Allan Alaalatoa, 4.Nick Frost, 5.Cadeyrn Neville, 6.Jed Holloway, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Rob Valetini.

Replacements: 16. Folau Fainga’a, 17. Tom Robertson, 18. Taniela Tupou, 19. Will Skelton, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Jake Gordon, 22. Noah Lolesio, 23. Jordan Petaia

More to follow…

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