Dublin - Paul O'Connell has been named as the full-time captain of Ireland by new coach Joe Schmidt on Thursday.
No 8 Jamie Heaslip will lead the side in their opening November
international against Samoa at Lansdowne Road on Saturday because
O'Connell has not recovered sufficiently from a calf injury to start the
match, with the lock among the replacements instead.
has previously captained both Ireland and the British and Irish Lions,
leading the combined side on their losing tour of South Africa in 2009.
the decision by New Zealander Schmidt, who coached Heaslip at Irish
provincial level when previously in charge of two-time European
champions Leinster, means the back-row forward was stripped of the
full-time Test captaincy he held last season under former Ireland boss
Leinster loose-head prop Jack McGrath is in line to
make his Test debut against Samoa, while Dave Kearney, brother of
full-back Rob Kearney, could also earn a first cap for Ireland off the
Schmidt's first Ireland starting side included six Lions in
Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll, Conor Murray, Heaslip and
Rory Best, with three more on the bench in Cian Healy, O'Connell and
But there was no place for the injured Jonathan
Sexton, one of the stars of the Lions 2-1 series win in Australia this
year, in the matchday 23 with Paddy Jackson starting at fly-half
Sexton, who joined Paris-based Racing Metro at the start
of this season from Leinster, was omitted after aggravating a hip injury
while goal-kicking during a midweek training session.
decided not to risk Sexton against the tough-tackling Samoans ahead of
potentially sterner Dublin encounters later this month against Australia
and world champions New Zealand.
But there is plenty of
experience in an Ireland back division where former captain Brian
O'Driscoll and longtime centre partner Gordon D'Arcy will have 200 caps
for their country between them when they take the field this weekend.
15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11Fergus McFadden, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip (captain), 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath
Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Paul O'Connell, 20 Sean O'Brien, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Dave Kearney