Doris captains Ireland for first time in Six Nations visit of Italy
Ireland have made six changes to their starting line-up to face Italy in the Six Nations on Sunday, including a new captain in flanker Caelan Doris and a new-look back row as coach Andy Farrell looks at his wider squad for the clash in Dublin.
Doris, the 110th player to captain Ireland, moves from number eight to the side of the scrum with his spot taken by Jack Conan. Ryan Baird is in the number six jersey in place of last week’s captain Peter O'Mahony.
Doris, not as accustomed to open-side flank, filled in for O'Mahony when the latter limped off in the impressive 38-17 victory over France in Ireland's tournament opener last weekend.
Prop Finlay Bealham starts in the front row instead of Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan is at lock alongside Joe McCarthy.
Stuart McCloskey comes in at centre for Bundee Aki, who, like Beirne and O’Mahony, drops out of the match day 23.
Scrumhalf Craig Casey will partner his Munster team mate Jack Crowley in the half-back pairing.
Centre Garry Ringrose has not recovered from a shoulder injury in time to take his place in the squad, with assistant coach Mike Catt suggesting he was making good progress this week. He will now look to Ireland's game with Wales on February 24.
Farrell has chosen a 5-3 split between forwards and backs on the bench with Ronan Kelleher, Jeremy Loughman, Tom O’Toole, Iain Henderson and Josh van der Flier providing the reinforcements in the pack. Jamison Gibson-Park, Harry Byrne and Jordan Larmour are the backline replacements.
Italy's only success in Ireland was a 37-29 victory in 1997. They have lost on their other 18 visits.
15-Hugo Keenan, 14-Calvin Nash, 13-Robbie Henshaw, 12-Stuart McCloskey, 11-James Lowe, 10-Jack Crowley, 9-Craig Casey, 8-Jack Conan, 7-Caelan Doris (captain), 6-Ryan Baird, 5-James Ryan, 4-Joe McCarthy, 3-Finlay Bealham, 2-Dan Sheehan, 1-Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16-Ronan Kelleher, 17-Jeremy Loughman, 18-Tom O’Toole, 19-Iain Henderson, 20-Josh van der Flier, 21-Jamison Gibson-Park, 22-Harry Byrne, 23-Jordan Larmour.