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Rugby World Cup 2019: Ireland opt not to risk Earls and Kearney

Andrew Conway and Jordan Larmour will start Ireland’s Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday.

Joe Schmidt has given the pair the nod for the Pool A clash, opting not to risk experienced duo Keith Earls and Rob Kearney as they continue to regain fitness following respective calf and thigh problems.

Earlier in the week, defence coach Andy Farrell said wing Earls and full-back Kearney could make the Scotland match but a more cautious approach has prevailed.

Kearney’s Leinster team-mate Robbie Henshaw is also an absentee but all three players are in contention for a return against hosts Japan on September 28.

Garry Ringrose is preferred ahead of Chris Farrell to partner Bundee Aki at centre in Henshaw’s absence.

Jack Carty of Connacht will deputise for fly-half Johnny Sexton among the replacements as Joey Carbery only resumed training this week following an ankle injury.

Jack Conan is also on the bench, with CJ Stander selected at number eight.

Ireland team to face Scotland: Jordan Larmour; Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, David Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Jack Carty, Chris Farrell.

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