HAMAMATSU – Flyhalf Jack Carty will make just his second start for Ireland against Japan on Saturday with Johnny Sexton not in the matchday 23 as coach Joe Schmidt made four changes to the team that comfortably beat Scotland in their World Cup Pool A opener.
Connacht’s Carty made his first start for Ireland last month but looked sharp off the bench against the Scots after Sexton came off midway through the second half having relinquished kicking duties earlier in the game after receiving a knock to the quad. His main understudy Joey Carbery returned from injury to make the bench.
Rob Kearney and Keith Earls also recovered from the minor injuries that kept them out of the 27-3 win to return to the Irish backline where Chris Farrell comes in for Bundee Aki whom he impressively replaced early on against Scotland.
Both Aki and Peter O’Mahony returned to training this week following head injuries sustained in the opener and O’Mahony retained his place in an unchanged pack.
The Ireland team:
15-Rob Kearney, 14-Keith Earls, 13-Garry Ringrose, 12-Chris Farrell 11-Jacob Stockdale, 10-Jack Carty, 9-Conor Murray, 8-CJ Stander 7-Josh van der Flier, 6-Peter O’Mahony, 5-James Ryan, 4-Iain Henderson, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 2-Rory Best (captain), 1-Cian Healy