Ireland Team to Play Italy…

It’s a bit of a shake up for an injury hit Ireland squad going into this years Six Nations.. The team features one new cap and nine changes to the team that beat Argentina in November.

Fergus McFadden makes his first senior cap joining Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald in a new look back three.

Tomas O’Leary has recovered from a thumb injury to take his place at scrum half, Rory Best is back in the pack along with Mike Ross earning his first Six Nations start at tighthead prop.

Paul O’Connell rejoins the side to make his 71st cap in the second row.

The back row is a new international combination of Leamy and David Wallace of Munster alongside Leinster’s Sean O’Brien making his first start in the championship.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Italy, 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Stadio Flaminio, Saturday, February 5, kick-off 3.30pm local time/2.30pm Irish time):

15 – Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
14 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 – Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
6 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
8 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)

Replacements:

16 – Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
17 – Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 – Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
19 – Shane Jennings (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
20 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 – Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)