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