November 16, 2017 / 2:12 PM / a year ago

Farrell makes debut as Ireland look to the future

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Chris Farrell will win his first cap for Ireland in a new-look centre pairing after coach Joe Schmidt named a second-string starting line-up for Saturday’s test against Fiji in Dublin.

The 24-year-old Farrell, who has recently joined Munster after playing club rugby in France, will play alongside Stuart McCloskey, who makes his second international appearance.

Flanker Rhys Ruddock captains a side showing 13 changes from the team who thrashed South Africa 38-3 in Dublin last Saturday in the first of three November internationals for the Irish, who also host Argentina on Nov. 25.

Dave Kearney returns on the left wing after two injury-hit seasons and 21-year-old prop Andrew Porter wins his second cap.

“It’s the acid test for Andrew, undoubtedly. He has thoroughly impressed us. He is a long term project for the here and now, suddenly. He needs to get comfortable in an uncomfortable environment,” Schmidt told reporters on Thursday.

“There is no better way to test people than to throw them into the arena.”

Team: 15-Andrew Conway, 14-Darren Sweetnam, 13-Chris Farrell, 12-Stuart McCloskey, 11-Dave Kearney, 10-Joey Carbery, 9-Kieran Marmion, 8-Jack Conan, 7-Jordi Murphy, 6-Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5-Devin Toner, 4-Ultan Dillane, 3-Andrew Porter, 2-Rob Herring, 1-Jack McGrath Replacements: 16-James Tracy, 17-Cian Healy, 18-Tadhg Furlong, 19-Kieran Treadwell, 20-CJ Stander, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Ian Keatley, 23-Robbie Henshaw.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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