Rugby Union

Joe Schmidt hands Munster's Chris Farrell first test start in much-changed Ireland line-up

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt 
Nick Purewal

Munster centre Chris Farrell will make his Test debut in an Ireland team showing 13 changes to face Fiji in Dublin on Saturday.

The 24-year-old will partner Ulster's Stuart McCloskey in midfield, with Joey Carbery making just his second Test start at fly-half.

Andrew Conway shifts from wing to full-back, and the Munster flyer and lock Devin Toner are the only two men retained from last weekend's record 38-3 thumping of South Africa.

Leinster's Rhys Ruddock will captain Ireland from the back row, following a hugely impressive try-scoring cameo off the bench against the Springboks.

Highly rated Leinster prop Andrew Porter will make his first Test start, with the powerful 21-year-old trusted to anchor the scrum at tighthead.

Head coach Joe Schmidt has seized the chance to field a fully revamped XV for the visit of the livewire Fijians, in a bold move that underscores his continued search for improved squad depth.

British and Irish Lions half-backs Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray have been rested entirely, as Ireland look to challenge their young and inexperienced squad players to deliver at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland's starting XV this weekend will boast just 188 caps, further underlining the extent of Schmidt's changes.

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