Heaslip to captain Ireland for Samoa clash

Heaslip to captain Ireland for Samoa clash

Jamie Heaslip has been chosen as captain by Ireland coach Joe Schmidt for this weekend’s first November international against Samoa at the Aviva Stadium.

Heaslip, who has been a past captain for the New Ireland coach at Leinster has seen off the challenge of Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll and Peter O’Mahony.

Jamie also captained Ireland during this year’s Six Nation’s under Declan Kidney.

However Joe Schmidt has confirmed that Paul O’Connell will take the captain’s role for the remainder of the November tests.

Jonathon Sexton misses out with a hip injury, so Schmidt has gone with Paddy Jackson at 10 in a halfback partnership with Munster’s Conor Murray.

The last time the two combined for Ireland was during the 22-15 loss to Italy in this year’s Six Nations game in Rome.

Jackson did well with the boot on that occasion but his lack of international experience at the time was put into question as it seemed Murray had no faith in the ability of his half-back partner.

Schmidt who has picked his very first Ireland 15 has only handed one new starting cap to Jack McGrath while Dave Kearney has had to settle for a place on the bench.

Paul O’Connell, who this week has been recovering from a calf problem is on the bench.

Ireland matchday squad to face Samoa;

15. Rob Kearney, 14. Tommy Bowe, 13. Brian O’Driscoll, 12. Gordon D’Arcy, 11. Fergus McFadden, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Conor Murray, 8. Jamie Heaslip, 7.Chris Henry, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 5. Devin Toner, 4. Mike McCarthy, 3. Mike Ross, 2. Rory Best, 1. Jack McGrath

SUBS; Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Declan Fitzpatrick, Paul O’Connell, Sean O’Brien, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney

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