Ireland Make 12 Changes to Line-Up for Final Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Match
In preparation for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has announced 12 changes to the starting line-up for their final warm-up match against Samoa. This match, taking place on Saturday, August 26, at Parc des Sports Jean Dauger in Bayonne, will be the last opportunity for these 23 players to secure a spot in the Rugby World Cup squad.
One of the notable changes is the appointment of lock Iain Henderson as captain for the match. This will be Henderson’s 74th cap for Ireland, and his leadership on the field will be crucial in guiding the team to victory. With only one backline player, Mack Hansen, remaining in the starting team from Ireland’s victorious match against England, the team will have a fresh look as they take on Samoa.
Stuart McCloskey and Robbie Henshaw will form the new centre pairing, replacing Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose. In the half-back positions, Munster’s Conor Murray and Jack Crowley will be leading the attack. Josh van der Flier, along with two other forwards, will complete the new loose trio.
The match against Samoa will undoubtedly be highly competitive, as the players aim to impress the coaching team and secure their spots in the Rugby World Cup squad. With their places on the line, it is expected that the Irish team will give their all on the field.
The match will be officiated by renowned referee Wayne Barnes from England, with Andrea Piardi from Italy and Adam Leal from England serving as assistant referees. Ben Blain from Scotland will be the TMO. With this distinguished officiating team, the match is sure to be closely observed and fair.
As fans eagerly anticipate the start of the Rugby World Cup, this final warm-up match against Samoa will give Ireland a chance to fine-tune their strategy and test their combinations. It will be interesting to see how the new line-up performs, and which players will ultimately earn their place in the squad as they set their sights on the Rugby World Cup in Japan.