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Ruddock to lead new-look Ireland against USA

Rhys Ruddock will lead an experimental Ireland team against the United States on Saturday after Joe Schmidt opted for wholesale changes to side that beat New Zealand.

Ireland stunned the All Blacks 16-9 at the Aviva Stadium last weekend, the boot of Johnny Sexton and a fine solo try from Jacob Stockdale proving crucial as the world’s number one team suffered a rare defeat.

It was the second time in three meetings that Ireland have prevailed over the world champions and the heroes who secured the latest success have been given a chance to rest.

Only Garry Ringrose remains from the XV that beat Steve Hansen’s men, but it is flanker Ruddock who will lead the side out as Schmidt assesses his options ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Ringrose, with 16 caps, will be a more experienced head in the back line, given Will Addison, Stuart McCloskey and Darren Sweetnam will all make only their third appearances.

In the pack, Tadhg Beirne joins Iain Henderson in the second row, while Finlay Bealham starts at tighthead prop.

Meanwhile, Munster centre Sam Arnold would earn his first international cap should he come off the bench.

 

Ireland: Will Addison, Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Stuart McCloskey, Darren Sweetnam, Joey Carbery, John Cooney; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jack Conan

Replacements: Rob Herring, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Quinn Roux, Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Sam Arnold

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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