Toner returns to Ireland line up

Story by Fergal Lynch

Thursday, 15th November, 2018 2:35pm

Toner returns to Ireland line up

Devin Toner will return to the Ireland team for Saturday's Rugby International clash with New Zealand at Lansdowne Road on Saturday evening, 7pm. 
While there is also a local feel to the All Black line up with Beauden and Scott Barrett, who both went to school in Ballinacree, set to feature for Steve Hansen's side.
Head coach Joe Schmidt has made four changes to his team with experienced pair Toner and Rob Kearney among the returning quartet.
The Leinster lock replaces Iain Henderson in the second row, while 32-year-old Kearney replaces provincial team-mate Jordan Larmour at full-back after sitting out the victory over Argentina with a shoulder injury.
Garry Ringrose has overcome his hip issues and resumes his midfield partnership with Bundee Aki, while Dan Leavy as expected is chosen as the injured Sean O’Brien’s replacement at openside flanker.
Henderson is one Grand Slam winner from Twickenham last March to miss out, but the inclusion of Kearney, Ringrose and Leavy mean that only the Ulster second row and Conor Murray are missing from the XV that started that day against England.
The inclusion of 6’10" Toner is a clear indication that Schmidt wants to address a lineout that struggled on occasions, coughing up three throws. Toner, who has only missed five games in Schmidt’s tenure as head coach, will bring huge experience up against the formidable pairing of Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick.


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James Ryan will partner Toner with Henderson dropping to the bench.
The front row of Cian Healy, captain Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong remains in place, with Leavy joining Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander in the backrow. Josh van der Flier provides cover on the replacements bench.
Luke McGrath has been unable to dislodge Kieran Marmion from the nine jersey in Conor Murray’s absence, with Johnny Sexton completing the half-back pairing.
Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale continue on the wings, while Ringrose returns to his outside centre berth to win his 16th cap. Similar to the comprehensive win over Italy in Chicago, Aki will join the 23-year-old in midfield with Robbie Henshaw unavailable.
The final change sees the gifted Larmour drop to the bench with the 86 times capped Kearney once again entrusted with the 15 jersey.
New Zealand head coach Hansen has made just one change to his team with Ryan Crotty replacing the injured Sonny Bill Williams in midfield.
Williams suffered a shoulder injury during the 16-15 defeat of England at Twickenham and will be replaced by the player who broke Irish hearts in 2013 with a late match-winning winning try at the Aviva Stadium.
Anton Lienert-Brown will come into the run on reserves in the 23 jersey.

Ireland - Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Kieran Marmion; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Dan Leavy, CJ Stander. Replacements - Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.

New Zealand - Damian McKenzie; Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Karl Tu’inukuafe, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read. Replacements - Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo’unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

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