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Milestone for Aki as Ireland face Springboks

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Head Coach Andy Farrell has named his Ireland squad for Saturday’s World Cup showdown against South Africa at the Stade de France.

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After opening wins over Romania and Tonga, Ireland continue their Pool B campaign against the defending champions in Paris on Saturday.

Bundee Aki is set to win his 50th Test cap for Ireland as he partners Garry Ringrose in midfield for the third consecutive match.

Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen and James Lowe continue in the back three, with captain Jonathan Sexton and Jamison Gibson-Park named at flyhalf and scrumhalf respectively.

Farrell has named an unchanged pack from last weekend’s defeat of Tonga in Nantes. Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong pack down in the front row, with Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan in the second row.

Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris complete the starting XV.

Dan Sheehan has returned to fitness to be named on the replacements bench alongside forwards David Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson and Ryan Baird, while Conor Murray, Jack Crowley and Robbie Henshaw provide the backline reinforcements.

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Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Ryan Baird, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

Date: Saturday, September 23
Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT; 21.00 SAST; 20.00 UK & Ireland time)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal (France) & James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

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