The teams have been announced for Saturdays rescheduled 2020 Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy. The match will be played behind closed doors at the Aviva Stadium but it will be broadcast live on ITV 1 in NornIron. Kick off 15:30
Ireland still have a chance of winning the Six Nations, as you can see from the table below, but, this game is more a case of trying to return to some form of normality as well as honouring broadcaster and sponsor commitments. It is an occasion that is far more important than the outcome of the game.
Andy Farrell has started his rebuilding for the 2023 Word Cup with four uncapped players called into the squad. Will Connors and Hugo Keenan are named in the starting XV. Ed Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park, are in line for their international debuts off the bench. The speedster Keenan joins Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Porter and James Ryan as a graduate from the fabulous 2016 U20 side, Gibson-Park takes the qualified by residency inclusion to 5, the second highest representation, after Leinster players.
Ulster players continue to struggle with the transition to the international arena, the northern province having the lowest contribution of all with only Stockdale and Rob Herring making the cut as Iain Henderson sits the rest of the tournament out.
Italy will just be glad to get this game under their belts. As usual they are drawing heavily from Zebra and Benetton in their young side. Gloucester’s Jake Polledri is the only non Italian based player in the starting line up with Brieve’s Pietro Ceccarelli at 19 the only other player currently plying his trade elsewhere.
Paolo Garbisi makes his debut at out half and he is joined in the squad by fellow uncapped players Gianmarco Lucchesi (16) and Federico Mori (23) who will hope to pick up their first cap off the bench.
It has the feel of a “look see” for both teams but Ireland have something tangible to play for and they will want to be in the hunt for the Championship next weekend. I suspect this will be a comfortable win for the home side.
|Jacob Stockdale||15||Jayden HAYWARD|
|Andrew Conway||14||Edoardo PADOVANI|
|Garry Ringrose||13||Luca MORISI|
|Bundee Aki||12||Carlo CANNA|
|Hugo Keenan||11||Mattia BELLINI|
|Jonathan Sexton||10||Paolo GARBISI|
|Conor Murray||9||Marcello VIOLI|
|Cian Healy||1||Danilo FISCHETTI|
|Rob Herring||2||Luca BIGI (C)|
|Andrew Porter||3||Giosuè ZILOCCHI|
|Tadhg Beirne||4||Marco LAZZARONI|
|James Ryan||5||Niccolò CANNONE|
|Caelan Doris||6||Sebastian NEGRI|
|Will Connors||7||Braam STEYN|
|CJ Stander||8||Jake POLLEDRI|
|Dave Heffernan||16||Gianmarco LUCCHESI|
|Ed Byrne||17||Simone FERRARI|
|Finlay Bealham||18||Pietro CECCARELLI|
|Ultan Dillane||19||David SISI|
|Peter O’Mahony||20||Johan MEYER|
|Jamison Gibson-Park||21||Maxime MBANDA|
|Ross Byrne||22||Callub BRALEY|
|Robbie Henshaw||23||Federico MORI|
|Sat 24th Oct||RD4||Ireland||Italy||15:30||ITV Sport|
|Sat 31st Oct||RD5||Wales||Scotland||14:15||BBC Sport|
|Sat 31st Oct||RD5||Italy||England||16:45||ITV Sport|
|Sat 31st Oct||RD5||France||Ireland||20:10||BBC Sport|