Autumn Internationals: Ulster's Paddy Jackson starts for Ireland against Samoa

Last Updated: 08/11/13 7:19am

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Sexton: Sits out Samoa visit

Sexton: Sits out Samoa visit

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Ulster's Paddy Jackson will start at fly-half for Ireland against Samoa - but there is no place for Jonathan Sexton because of a hip problem.

Ireland open their Autumn International campaign at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday with new coach Joe Schmidt in charge for the first time.

Racing Metro No 10 Sexton - who missed a midweek training session after aggravating the hip injury whilst goal-kicking - has been left out of the squad entirely.

Paul O'Connell, who was named Ireland's new captain on Tuesday, has not fully recovered from an ankle injury and starts on the bench alongside Leinster back-three Dave Kearney who will win his first cap if he takes to the field.

With O'Connell unable to start the match, No 8 Jamie Heaslip will lead the team out at Lansdowne Road, while veteran pair Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy start in the centres.

Leinster front-rower Jack McGrath will win his first cap at loosehead prop against the Samoans.

The 24-year-old was called up to the Emerging Ireland squad to play in May's Tbilisi Cup, the inaugural round-robin tournament which also included Georgia, a South Africa President's XV and Uruguay.

And new Ireland boss Schmidt promoted McGrath into his full squad for this autumn series last month.

Schmidt has also named versatile Leinster back-three Dave Kearney on the bench, who will win his first cap if he takes the field.

Kearney could even line up alongside brother and starting full-back Rob, if he comes on at wing.

Ireland face Australia and Schmidt's native All Blacks on successive weekends after the Samoa fixture in Dublin.

Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, F McFadden; P Jackson, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; M McCarthy, D Toner; P O'Mahony, C Henry, J Heaslip.Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, D Fitzpatrick, P O'Connell, S O'Brien, E Reddan, I Madigan, D Kearney.

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