Sexton returns as Ireland ring the changes for Wallabies clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland captain and playmaker Johnny Sexton has been recalled as one of seven changes for their international against Australia in Dublin.
Australian Mack Hansen will be in the Irish side to face his home country and he moves from the left wing to the right in the back three.
Captain Sexton sat out the 35-17 victory over Fiji last weekend, but head coach Andy Farrell has returned to something close to his first-choice selection for the visit of the Wallabies on Saturday.
Hugo Keenan is at fullback as Jimmy O’Brien switches to the wing and Robert Baloucoune misses out.
Uncapped lock Joe McCarthy has been named among their replacements.
Garry Ringrose is back in the No.13 jersey for the injured Robbie Henshaw and will partner Stuart McCloskey at centre, keeping Bundee Aki on the bench, while flyhalf Sexton is alongside scrumhalf Jamison Gibson Park.
Prop Andrew Porter and hooker Dan Sheehan come into the front row of the scrum to join Tadhg Furlong, and James Ryan is at lock with Tadhg Beirne.
Josh van der Flier and Peter O’Mahony return to the back row with Caelan Doris switching from the blindside flank to No.8.
Ireland are seeking a clean sweep of wins in the November internationals against an Australia side who have lost their last two by just one point in France and Italy.
Ireland, ranked No.1 team in the world, have won four of their last five meetings with Australia dating back to 2014.
Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jimmy O’Brien, 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 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Joe McCarthy, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Bundee Aki.
Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 20.00 (20.00 GMT; 07.00 AEDT Sunday, November 20)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Tual Trainini (France)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)