Sean O’Brien to start against the All Blacks; no place for Peter O’Mahony

Sean O’Brien to start against the All Blacks; no place for Peter O’Mahony
Sean O’Brien is named in the starting XV.

After missing out on a place on the plane to Chicago, Sean O’Brien will start against the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium.

The 29-year-old admitted he did not "fully agree" with his omission from Ireland's historic victory over the All Blacks in Chicago on November 5.

O'Brien was left out of that game with Ireland fearing the Leinster flanker was not quite 100 per cent ready for Test match intensity following long-term hamstring trouble.

Now the bullocking back-rower will start his first Test since Ireland's 10-9 defeat to France in February, where his latest injury problems started.

Joe Schmidt has named the side he hopes will make it two wins out of two against New Zealand on Saturday.

Rob Kearney starts at full-back, with Andrew Trimble and Simon Zebo on the wings, while Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw form the centre partnership.

Johnny Sexton resumes kicking duties at ten with Conor Murray alongside him in the half-backs. Paddy Jackson will provide cover from the bench.

Captain Rory Best, Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong make up the front row, with Cian Healy named among the replacements.

Devin Toner and Donnacha pack down together in the second row, with no place for Ultan Dillane in the matchday squad.

After playing in an Ireland jersey for the first time in more than a year last week, Peter O'Mahony has also been left out of the 23.

O’Brien is joined by CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip in the the back row, with Josh van der Flier providing cover.

Ireland v New Zealand at the Aviva, Saturday November 19 - kick-off 5.15pm.

Ireland team: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Paddy Jackson, Garry Ringrose.


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