Joe Schmidt makes six changes as Ireland prepare to face Japan

Joe Schmidt makes six changes as Ireland prepare to face Japan

Irish coach Joe Schmidt has made six changes to the side for the second and concluding test against Japan on Saturday at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, writes John Fallon.

Hooker James Tracy will start in an Irish team for the first time when he wins his fourth cap while Kieran Treadwell, who made his debut off the bench in the 50-22 win over Japan last Saturday, starts this time round.

John Cooney, who will move from Connacht to Ulster for the new season, is poised to become the eighth player to make his debut on this tour if he is sprung from the bench.

Three of the changes are at the back with Luke Marshall, Jacob Stockdale and Kieran Marmion coming into the side for Simon Zebo, Rory Scannell and Luke McGrath in a move which sees Andrew Conway go from wing to full-back.

Up front, Tracy takes over from Niall Scannell, Treadwell comes in for Quinn Roux, while Josh van der Flier returns at the expense of Dan Leavy.

Devin Toner will win his 50th cap in this match, with Cian Healy chalking up his 70th appearance.

Seven players — Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Healy, Toner, John Ryan, captain Rhys Ruddock and No.8 Jack Conan — will start all three summer tests unless there are late changes.

Schmidt said that a number of the changes were influenced by knocks picked up in last weekend’s 50-22 win over Japan and that McGrath (eye), Zebo (knee) and Leavy (cuts and bruises) were not risked.

“A couple of other changes are offering opportunities to players who didn’t get a chance last week,” said Schmidt.

“We know it will be tougher this weekend.

“They would have worked hard during the week, we have done the same and I think with a couple of the younger players (that Japan have brought in) we have got to potentially work harder to get the scoring positions we got last week.”

Ireland: A Conway; K Earls, G Ringrose, L Marshall, J Stockdale; P Jackson, K Marmion; C Healy, J Tracy, John Ryan; K Treadwell, D Toner; R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.

Replacements: N Scannell, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, James Ryan, S Reidy, J Cooney, R Scannell, T O’Halloran.

More in this Section

Ferguson steps in after Everton give Silva bulletFerguson steps in after Everton give Silva bullet

Arsenal’s winless streak continues as Brighton pull off stunning winArsenal’s winless streak continues as Brighton pull off stunning win

Chubby champ Andy Ruiz a 21st century Cinderella ManChubby champ Andy Ruiz a 21st century Cinderella Man

Paudie Murray backs new rules but says ending league semi-finals a ‘joke’Paudie Murray backs new rules but says ending league semi-finals a ‘joke’


Lifestyle

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

More From The Irish Examiner