Connacht's Bundee Aki to make Ireland debut as seven Munster players make squad

Donn O'Sullivan, Sports Editor


Donn O'Sullivan, Sports Editor


Connacht's Bundee Aki to make Ireland debut as seven Munster players make squad

Bundee Aki to make Ireland debut on Saturday

Connacht's Bundee Aki is set to make his Ireland debut against South Africa at the Aviva on Saturday in the first game of the Guinness Series (5.30pm). The formidable centre will line out at 12, partnering Robbie Henshaw in the centre. 

Joe Schmidt has also name Munster's Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway in his starting XV, with  Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan & the uncapped Darren Sweetnam among the replacements.

Rory Best returns to captain the side having missed the Summer Tour as a member of the British & Irish Lions squad. Best is joined in the front row by Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong.

Iain Henderson and Devin Toner pack down in the second row. O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien, who will win his 50th cap, are on the flanks with CJ Stander at No.8.

Murray and Johnny Sexton fill the half-back slots as is the norm when they are fit. Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Conway are named on the wings with Rob Kearney at fullback.

Ireland Team & Replacements (v South Africa, Guinness Series 2017, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 5.30pm)

15 Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 76 caps

14 Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 3 caps

13 Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 29 caps

12 Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)*

11 Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 2 caps

10 Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 66 caps

9 Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 57 caps

1 Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 70 caps

2 Rory Best (c) (Banbridge/Ulster) c 104 caps

3 Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 16 caps

4 Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 32 caps

5 Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 50 caps

6 Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 40 caps

7 Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 49 caps

8 CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 15 caps


16 Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 1 cap

17 Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 20 caps

18 John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 9 caps

19 James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 2 caps

20 Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 16 caps

21 Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 16 caps

22 Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 4 caps

23 Darren Sweetnam (Cork Constitution/Munster)*

*Denotes Uncapped Player