Paul O'Connell

Nine Lions named in Ireland’s starting line-up

Nine British & Irish Lions have been included in a strong Ireland starting XV as Joe Schmidt's side get their Rugby World Cup campaign up and running against Canada on Saturday.

Nine British & Irish Lions have been included in a strong Ireland starting XV as Joe Schmidt’s side get their Rugby World Cup campaign up and running against Canada on Saturday.

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Paul O’Connell, who is to retire from international duty at the end of the World Cup, will captain from the second-row while fellow Lions Rory Best, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip will all pack down alongside him at the Millennium Stadium.
 
Luke Fitzgerald and Keith Earls – members of the 2009 Lions squad – have been selected to start the clash at inside centre and left wing respectively.
 
Elsewhere Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton resume their formidable half-back partnership and Rob Kearney will pick up his 64th Ireland cap at full-back.
 
And there are reinforcements in the shape of 2013 Lions tourists Cian Healy and Simon Zebo on the bench.
      
Ireland team to play Canada:
15. Rob Kearney
14. Dave Kearney
13. Jared Payne
12. Luke Fitzgerald
11. Keith Earls
10. Jonathan Sexton
9. Conor Murray
 
1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Iain Henderson
5. Paul O'Connell
6. Peter O'Mahony
7. Sean O'Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip
 
Replacements:
16. Sean Cronin
17. Cian Healy
18. Nathan White
19. Donnacha Ryan
20. Chris Henry
21. Eoin Reddan
22. Ian Madigan
23. Simon Zebo

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