McCloskey back as Doris captains Irish for Italy game


Caelan Doris pictured after the France game
Caelan Doris will captain Ireland for the first time in what will be his 37th cap
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Sunday, 11 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Sounds, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra & BBC Radio Ulster; live text updates, report, reaction & highlights on BBC Sport website & app

Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey has been recalled to the Ireland team as one of six changes for Sunday’s Six Nations match against Italy.

McCloskey did not make the matchday squad for last week’s win in France but returns to partner Robbie Henshaw.

Back row Caelan Doris will captain Ireland for the first time with Peter O’Mahony not included in the squad.

Craig Casey replaces Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half, with Jack Crowley retained at fly-half.

There are four changes in the Irish pack as Finlay Bealham, James Ryan, Ryan Baird and Jack Conan return.

Conan’s inclusion in the line-up means Doris shifts from number eight to openside flanker.

With Crowley keeping his place at out-half, his Munster team-mate Calvin Nash is also retained after a try-scoring debut in the bonus-point win over France.

Nash is part of an unchanged back three with Hugo Keenan and James Lowe.

Leinster’s Joe McCarthy, another impressive Six Nations debutant last week, will be partnered in the second row by Ryan with Tadhg Beirne rested

Captain O’Mahony is not part of the matchday 23 while Garry Ringrose again misses out after being ruled out of the France game with a shoulder injury.

Bundee Aki and Tadhg Furlong, both of whom started in France, are also missing from the 23.

Ulster’s Tom O’Toole and Iain Henderson are called up as forwards replacements, with Harry Byrne in line to earn his third cap as the out-half replacement.

Jordan Larmour is also set to earn his first cap since 2021 with Farrell reverting to a 5-3 split of forwards and backs on the bench having opted for 6-2 against France.

Ireland: Keenan; Nash, Henshaw, McCloskey, Lowe; Crowley, Casey; Porter, Sheehan, Bealham, McCarthy, Ryan, Baird, Doris, Conan.

Replacements: Kelleher, Loughman, O’Toole, Henderson, Van der Flier, Gibson-Park, Byrne, Larmour.

Italy: Capuozzo; Pani, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane; P Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Ceccarelli, N Cannone, Ruzza, Izekor, Zuliani, Lamaro (capt).

Replacements: Nicotera, Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Zambonin, Vintcent, Page-Relo, Allan, Mori.

Referee: Luke Pearce (Eng)



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