Rugby

Best brings up century against Wallabies

2016-11-25 07:20
Ireland captain Rory Best speaks to Jaco Peyper (Getty Images)

Dublin - Ireland captain Rory Best will win his 100th cap when he leads the team out on Saturday to play Australia in their Test at Lansdowne Road.

The 34-year-old hooker - who took over the captaincy permanently after iconic lock Paul O'Connell retired after the 2015 World Cup - will skipper a side showing four changes from the starting XV for last Saturday's bruising 21-9 defeat by world champions New Zealand.

Centre Robbie Henshaw has concussion - after being clattered early in the first-half by Sam Cane - and flyhalf Jonathan Sexton has not recovered from a hamstring problem that also saw him depart the game inside the first 30 minutes.

The Leinster duo, both pivotal players in the historic 40-29 victory over the All Blacks in Chicago three weeks ago, have been replaced by another young centre Garry Ringrose and the more experienced Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson.

Whilst Ireland coach Joe Schmidt had remarked that Ireland lost a bit of their shape and cohesion with the loss of Sexton and Henshaw in the All Blacks game he believes the extra week together will not see the same problem repeat itself on Saturday.

"So what we're hoping is that they've had a bit of game time together last week, and we've had training since, and hopefully those guys can get a bit of confidence from that," Schmidt told a press conference.

"And hopefully that confidence can be reflected in the performance we put together on Saturday," added the 51-year-old New Zealander.

The other two personnel changes for the game with the World Cup finalists, who have won all three of their Tests so far on the northern hemisphere tour, see Iain Henderson come into the second row for Donnacha Ryan, who is not in the match-day 23, and Keith Earls replaces Munster team-mate Simon Zebo on the wing.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt's selection headache eased slightly with both Rob Kearney and CJ Stander passing Head Injury Assessment tests after both took high hits during the All Black match.

Ireland will be seeking to make it a win over each of the southern Hemisphere giants this year - they beat South Africa in the close season tour - whilst Australia are looking to ease to within one win of emulating the legendary 1984 Wallabies side's whitewash of the four Home Nations.

They end their tour on Saturday week against Six Nation Grand Slam holders England, who recorded a historic 3-0 series win Down Under earlier this year.

Teams:

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Garry Ringrose, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Peter O'Mahony, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Simon Zebo

Australia

15 Israel Folau 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 James Slipper, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu

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