Ireland v Italy: Ireland player profiles
John O’Sullivan looks at the Irish selection to face Italy in Chicago
15 Jordan Larmour
Club: Leinster. Age: 21. Height: 5’10”.
Weight: 91kg (14st 4lbs). Caps: 6.
In the absence of Rob Kearney he was handed an opportunity to run at fullback with Leinster in the Champions Cup and now gets a similar opportunity with Ireland.
14 Andrew Conway
Club: Munster. Age: 27. Height: 5’11”.
Weight: 90kg (14st 2lbs). Caps: 7.
It’s a chance for him to underline his attacking prowess and offer a reminder that he now possesses the all round game and versatility to add huge value.
13 Garry Ringrose
Club: Leinster, Age: 23. Height: 6’1”.
Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs). Caps: 14.
It’s bizarre to think that the 23-year-old will be the most experienced player in the backline with 14 test caps. A brilliant footballer, who continues to hone his game.
12 Bundee Aki
Club: Connacht. Age: 28. Height: 6’.
Weight: 101kg (15st 12lbs). Caps: 9.
In the super competitive world of the Irish backline every chance must be taken and the Connacht player will be keen to do just that: powerful and direct with the skills to match.
11 Jacob Stockdale
Club: Ulster. Age: 22. Height: 6’3”.
Weight: 103kg (16st 3lbs). Caps: 11.
Ireland’s try scoring machine with a strike-rate that he’d like to carry into the new international season. Has lovely balance to go with power, pace and a thumping left foot.
10 Joey Carbery
Club: Munster. Age: 22. Height: 6’.
Weight: 86kg (13st 7lbs). Caps: 12.
He’s settled in beautifully at Munster, profiting from consistent game time at outhalf. He’s got all the qualities required to be a top class international something he needs to reinforce in Chicago.
9 Luke McGrath
Club: Leinster. Age: 25. Height: 5’9”.
Weight: 82kg (12st 12lbs). Caps: 6.
This could be an audition for a starting role against Argentina and the All Blacks and given the fierce competition test match minutes resemble hen’s teeth.
1 Jack McGrath
Club: Leinster. Age: 29. Height: 6’1”.
Weight: 118kg (18st 8lbs). Caps: 50
By some way the most experienced player in the starting team, he began in two of the three summer tests in Australia and will want to put pressure on his friend and provincial teammate Cian Healy.
2 Niall Scannell
Club: Munster. Age: 26. Height: 6’1”.
Weight: 111kg (17st 5lbs). Caps: 9
He’s a strong, physical presence, excellent at the set piece and in particular the scrum, with good hands and a nice turn of speed.
3 Andrew Porter
Club: Leinster. Age: 22. Height: 6’.
Weight: 120kg (18st 12lbs). Caps: 8.
The Italians traditionally presented a tough test for young props and while they’re not as fearsome these days in that respect, he’ll be made to work hard at the basics.
4 Tadhg Beirne
Club: Munster. Age: 26. Height: 6’6”.
Weight: 113kg (17st 11lbs). Caps: 2.
It’ll be interesting to see if he’s asked to run the lineout, a duty he’s been handed at Munster. A superb player in the loose and a turnover specialist, this match will examine other areas of his game.
5 Quinn Roux
Club: Connacht. Age: 27. Height: 6’6”.
Weight: 122kg (19st 2lbs). Caps: 6
He is noted for his ability in the tight and that will be an important asset in Chicago. In keeping with many in today’s team this represents a platform to lay down a marker for the weeks and months ahead.
6 Rhys Ruddock (capt)
Club: Leinster. Age: 27. Height: 6’3”.
Weight: 111kg (17st 6lbs). Caps: 19.
Taking on the mantle of captaincy, he has been excellent for Leinster this season and brings a hard physical edge to carrying and tackling while also possessing decent hands and feet.
7 Josh van der Flier
Club: Leinster. Age: 25. Height: 6’1”.
Weight: 104kg (16st 5lbs). Caps: 10
In a ridiculously competitive area of the team big performances are imperative. His work-rate, tackling and support play as a genuine openside flanker make him a huge asset.
8 Jack Conan
Club: Leinster. Age: 26. Height: 6’4”.
Weight: 111kg (17st 6lbs). Caps: 9
Arguably the form forward for Leinster this season, he’s shed a few pounds without compromising his ability to break tackles and has added improved footwork and angles of running.