Ireland Name XV to face Canada

Earls in for Zebo and Fitzgerald for Henshaw are the only two surprises in the Irish Rugby Team to face Canada in the World Cup opener in Cardiff on Saturday (KO 14.30)

Joe Schmidt has named the team for the opening Group D game which they are expected to win easily against a largely amateur Canadian team.

Ireland: R Kearney; D Kearney, J Payne, L Fitzgerald, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; I Henderson, P O’Connell (capt); P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip. Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, N White, D Ryan, C Henry, E Reddan, I Madigan, S Zebo.

Canada: Matt Evans (Cornish Pirates); Jeff Hassler (Ospreys), Ciaran Hearn (Unattached/Atlantic Rock), Nick Blevins (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack), DTH van der Merwe (Scarlets); Nathan Hirayama (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears), Gordon McRorie (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack); Hubert Buydens (Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack), Ray Barkwill (Unattached/Ontario Blues), Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues); Brett Beukeboom (Cornish Pirates), Jamie Cudmore, Captain – (Clermont Auvergne); Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack), John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues), Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues).