Caelan Doris captains Ireland after surprising positional switch as Andy Farrell makes several changes for Italy Test
2024/02/10

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Caelan Doris will step into the role of captain for Ireland when they face Italy in the Six Nations on Sunday, as Peter O'Mahony is absent. Doris previously took on the responsibility when O'Mahony was replaced during their tournament opener against France. Interestingly, Doris will captain the team from openside flanker position, a change from his usual spot at number eight. This allows Ryan Baird to make his Six Nations debut at six, with Jack Conan joining the team at number eight. James Ryan returns to the starting line-up in the second row, partnering with Joe McCarthy. In the front row, Finlay Bealham replaces Tadhg Furlong at tighthead prop. Craig Casey takes over from Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half, forming a half-back pairing with Jack Crowley. Stuart McCloskey joins Robbie Henshaw in the midfield, while there is an unchanged back three of James Lowe, Calvin Nash, and Hugo Keenan. The bench sees a 5-3 split, with Ronan Kelleher, Jeremy Loughman, Tom O'Toole, Iain Henderson, and Josh van der Flier as forward replacements, and Jamison Gibson-Park, Harry Byrne, and Jordan Larmour as back replacements. The match will take place at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with a kick-off time of 15:00 GMT and referee Luke Pearce from England.

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