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Sexton back as Schmidt shakes up Ireland for second Test

Ireland's Johnny Sexton. (AFP PHOTO / IAN MACNICOL)
14th June, 2018
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Superstar playmaker Johnny Sexton returns among sweeping changes to Ireland’s starting team when they attempt to level their Test series with the Wallabies.

Sexton replaces young five eighth Joey Carbery, re-establishing his successful scrum-base partnership with halfback Conor Murray for the second Test at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Coach Joe Schmidt has made big changes to his forwards with a new front row of Cian Healy, Niall Scannell and Tadhg Furlong while Dan Leavey comes in at openside flanker ahead of Jordi Murphy and Devin Toner joins James Ryan in the second row.

Leavey will be crucial in the breakdown battle where David Pocock dominated for the Wallabies during the first Test win in Brisbane.

Star outside centre Gary Ringrose comes in, with Robbie Henshaw switching to inside centre and Andrew Conway takes over on the right wing from Jacob Stockdale.

IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls, Johnny Sexton, Connor Murray, CJ Stander, Dan Leavy, Peter O’Mahony (capt), James Ryan, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong, Niall Scannell, Cian Healy. Res: Rob Herring, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.