Jean Kleyn handed Ireland debut against Italy
courtesy of RTE
Munster’s Jean Kleyn will make his international debut in Ireland’s opening warm-up game for the 2019 World Cup against Italy at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
The South African born lock joined Munster from the Stormers in summer 2016 and becomes eligible for Ireland duty this month.
Another Munster recruit, full back Mike Haley, will also make his debut off the bench against the Italians.
Haley, who joined Munster from Sale last year, has previously been called up for England training camps by Eddie Jones and represented England Saxons in their South African tour of 2016.
He qualifies to play for Ireland through his Kerry-born grandfather.
Rhys Ruddock has been named captain of the side for the game, with Tommy O’Donnell and Jordi Murphy completing the back row trio. The experienced Devin Toner will join Kleyn in the second row.
Joey Cabery and Luke McGrath make up the half back pairing, while Jordan Larmour will start at full back. Andrew Conway and Dave Kearney have been named on the wings.
Munster’s Chris Farrell will join Garry Ringrose in the centre.
The Italy match is the first of Ireland’s four part Guinness Summer Series in preparation for Japan, with games against England in Twickenham (24 August) and home and away ties against Wales (31 August in Cardiff, 7 September in Dublin) following in the month ahead.
Ireland team (to play Italy): Jordan Larmour; Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Chris Farrell, Andrew Conway; Joey Carbery, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Andrew Porter; Jean Kleyn, Devin Toner; Rhys Ruddock, Tommy O’Donnell, Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Tadgh Beirne, Kieran Marmion, Jack Carty and Mike Haley.
Follow Ireland v Italy (2pm) via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app. Watch live coverage on RTÉ2 from 1.30pm and listen to commentary on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport.