Six Munster players in Ireland side to face Japan

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Six Munster players in Ireland side to face Japan

Munster's Keith Earls wins his 61st cap for Ireland against Japan on Saturday

SIX Munster players have been included in the Ireland side to face Japan in the first of two Test matches this Saturday, 6am Irish time.

Munster centre Rory Scannell and winger Andrew Conway will get their first starts and win their second caps in Saturday’s game at the Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka.

Scannell starts at inside centre, alongside Garry Ringrose in midfield and there is an all Munster back three combination with Simon Zebo at fullback and Keith Earls and Conway on the wings.

Rory Scannell joins his brother Niall in the starting line-up. The Munster hooker is joined in the Ireland pack by his provincial team mate John Ryan.

Saturday morning’s game will be televised live on eir Sport.

The Shizuoka Ecopa Stadium is one of the venues for the 2019 World Cup.

Having landed in Tokyo on Monday after a 20-hour flight from New York, Schmidt's men have had to adapt to a new time zone as well as hot and humid conditions.

IRELAND: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Gary Ringrose, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Paddy Jackson, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Quinn Roux, Devin Toner; Rhys Ruddock (capt), Dan Leavy, Jack Conan. Replacements: James Tracy, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell, Jack O’Donoghue, Kieran Marmion, Rory O’Loughlin, Tiernan O’Halloran.

JAPAN: Ryuji Noguchi; Kotaro Matsushima, William Tupou, Timothy Lafaele, Kenki Fukuoka; Yu Tamura, Fumiaki Tanaka; Keita Inagaki, Shota Horie, Heiichiro Ito; Kotaro Yatabe, Uwe Helu; Michael Leitch (capt), Yoshitaka Tokanuga, Amanaki Mafi. Replacements: Yusuke Niwai, Shintaro Ishihara, Takuma Asahara, Hendrik Tui, Shuhei Matsuhashi, Yutake Nagare, Derek Carpenter, Rikiya Matsuda