Joey Carbery to start at outhalf for Ireland against Australia
Joe Schmidt expected to make six changes from side that beat England at Twickenham
Joey Carbery is set to start at outhalf for Ireland in their first Test against Australia. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Munster-bound outhalf Joey Carbery is set to start his first major test match against Australia at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this Saturday (kick-off 11am).
It looks like Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will make six changes from the Grand Slam side that beat England at Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day with Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose, Dan Leavy, Leinster props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong along with injured captain Rory Best to make way.
Robbie Henshaw returns to the starting XV, that being the only other change in the backline, as Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and John Ryan form a largely inexperienced front row, with Ulster-bound flanker Jordi Murphy rewarded for his end of season form at openside.
It’s unclear how many Leinster players are being rested for the first of this three test series following their successful yet gruelling European and Pro 14 campaigns.
Peter O’Mahony is expected to captain the side as he did the British and Irish Lions in last year’s first test against New Zealand.
Carbery has only started two of his previous 10 caps, against USA and Fiji, while Leinster have almost exclusively run him at fullback.
However, Schmidt has consistently backed the 22-year-old as Sexton’s understudy since Paddy Jackson was suspended and subsequently had his contract revoked by the IRFU.
Schmidt attempted to direct Carbery to Belfast, as Jackson’s replacement, but the Auckland-born talent instead agreed a two year deal with Munster.
Ireland (possible team to face Australia): Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, John Ryan; Iain Henderson, James Ryan; Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jordi Murphy, CJ Stander.