Ireland ring changes for Japan Test

Joe Schmidt (Getty)
Joe Schmidt (Getty)

Tokyo - Ireland made six changes for Saturday's Japan Test, days after running riot against the United States in New Jersey.

Coach Joe Schmidt handed scrumhalf Luke McGrath his first Test start as part of a revamped backline in which wing Keith Earls is the only survivor.

Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway, Rory Scannell and Paddy Jackson also come into the backs, while flank Dan Leavy for Josh van der Flier is the only change in the forwards.

Saturday's game in Shizuoka, the first of two Tests, comes after Ireland ran in nine tries in their 55-19 victory over the United States last week.

Ireland have never lost to Japan, the 2019 World Cup hosts, but their last Test series against them was 12 years ago in 2005.

Kick-off is at 07:00 SA time.

Teams:

Japan

15 Ryuji Noguchi, 14 Kotaro Matshima, 13 William Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Keita Inagaki

Substitutes : 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Hendrik Tui, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23 Rikiya Matsuda

Ireland

15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5 Devin Toner, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 James Tracy, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Rory O'Loughlin, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran

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