Simon Zebo in action during training for Ireland
MUNSTER’S Simon Zebo is included at full-back in place of the injured Rob Kearney for Ireland’s 6 Nations clash with Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 1.30pm.
Zebo makes his second start of the campaign as Kearney is ruled out with a hamstring injury.
In all five Munster players have been included in Joe Schmidt’s starting line-up for the Round 4 fixture between the two winless sides.
Conor Murray and Keith Earls remain in the backline at scrum-half and the left wing respectively, while second row Donnacha Ryan and back-row CJ Stander also retain their starting positions from the most recent clash with England.
Leinster’s Limerick-born hooker Sean Cronin is listed among the replacements for the 6 Nations tie.
IRELAND: Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster); Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster); Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (Capt), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster); Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster); CJ Stander (Munster), Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster).
Replacements: Sean Cronin (St Mary's College/Leinster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Nathan White (Connacht), Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht), Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)