Ireland change six for South Africa decider

CJ Stander returns from suspension

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named a team with six changes to his team to play South Africa in the third and final Test on Saturday in Port Elizabeth.

Schmidt has made six changes in personnel and one positional switch for the deciding test.

Full-back Jared Payne has been ruled out of the series decider with a calf injury. His place will be taken by Connacht’s Tiernan O’Halloran, who won his first cap off the bench during the final minutes of last weekend’s second Test in Johannesburg.

The uncapped Matt Healy is named among the replacements as is Eoin Reddan, who has announced that he will retire from rugby after the match.

Hooker Rory Best will captain Ireland for the 12th time and is rejoined in the front row by Mike Ross, while loosehead prop Jack McGrath is set for his third start of the tour.

Devin Toner and the versatile Iain Henderson reunite in the second row, with flankers Jordi Murphy and CJ Stander returning to the back row to link up with number 8 Jamie Heaslip, who scored his 13th try for Ireland last weekend.

Conor Murray continues his partnership with Paddy Jackson at half-back for what will be his 50th cap. The Limerick man will be the third scrum half after Peter Stringer (98) and Reddan (70) to hit the half-century for Ireland.

Luke Marshall returns to the starting line-up and switches to outside centre with his Ulster colleague Olding retaining the number 12 jersey. Andrew Trimble and Keith Earls complete the back-three alongside O’Halloran.


15. Tiernan O’Halloran , 14. Andrew Trimble, 13. Luke Marshall, 12. Stuart Olding, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Conor Murray,8. Jamie Heaslip ,7. Jordi Murphy, 6. CJ Stander, 5. Devin Toner , 4. Iain Henderson , 3. Mike Ross,2. Rory Best, 1. Jack McGrath

Replacements:16. Sean Cronin , 17. Finlay Bealham , 18. Tadhg Furlong , 19. Ultan Dillane , 20. Rhys Ruddock , 21. Eoin Reddan , 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Matt Healy , *

* Denotes uncapped player at this level

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