Jamie Heaslip to captain Ireland against South Africa
Last Updated: 08/11/12 1:32pm
Jamie Heaslip: Captain of Ireland against South Africa
Jamie Heaslip has been appointed Ireland captain ahead of Saturday's opening autumn international against South Africa in Dublin.
The No 8 takes over from Paul O'Connell who is one of six first team players ruled out through injury.
O'Connell, Brian O'Driscoll, Sean O'Brien, Stephen Ferris, Rob Kearney and Rory Best are all missing, forcing Declan Kidney to name a new-look XV as they look to end a run of four consecutive Test defeats.
South Africa-born Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss - who has completed his three-year residency - is given his debut and he will be up against his cousin Adriaan, the Springboks hooker, on Saturday.
Munster wing Simon Zebo, who made his debut in New Zealand, is picked at full-back in an otherwise experienced back-line.
Ulster star Chris Henry is named at openside and in the second row Connacht's Mike McCarthy will partner Donnacha Ryan, getting the nod ahead of Donncha O'Callaghan.
Tighthead Michael Bent arrived from New Zealand just a few weeks ago but he will win his first Irish cap before his first appearance for Leinster if he comes off the bench.
Team: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Cian Healy, 2 Richardt Strauss, 3 Mike Ross, 4 Mike McCarthy, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Chris Henry, 8 Jamie Heaslip (captain)
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Fergus McFadden