Ireland team to play Australia, 9:30am Saturday

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Updated: September 14, 2011

Declan Kidney has named the Ireland team and replacements for the Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Australia in Eden Park on Saturday.

Eoin Reddan, Sean O’Brien, Rob Kearney and Cian Healy return to the side with Johnny Sexton holding his place at outhalf.

“The players coming back will bring freshness to the team,” Kidney said.

“If you play the same team week in, week out, it becomes difficult for everybody.

“I didn’t think Sean, Rob or Healy were as fit as they needed to be to play against the USA last week so they got another week under their belts.

“They’re raring to go and that brings its own impetus into the team. That’s what you need.”

Kidney added he had no concern over Kearney’s ability to finish the match, and revealed that blind-side flanker Stephen Ferris has played only a limited role in training since his comeback from a knee injury.

Jerry Flannery, who has been named on the bench, is to undergo a scan on a calf injury sustained in training with results expected on Wednesday at the earliest. Sean Cronin is on standby.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Australia, 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C, Eden Park, Saturday, September 17, kick-off 8:30pm local time/9:30am Irish time):

15 – Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster)*
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)*
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
6 – Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf / Leinster)*
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)

Replacements:

16 – Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
17 – Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
19 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
20 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)

*Denotes RWC Debut

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