Cian Healy starts against Romania but still no Robbie Henshaw

Romania coach Lynn Howells, meanwhile, has named their most experienced ever side despite making eight changes to the team that lost to France on Wednesday after losing flanker Valentin Ursache to suspension for a unsafe tackle.


Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who scored 14 points including a try during Ireland’s opening 50-7 victory over Canada at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, believes the fearless Blossoms’ superb display shows that anything can happen in this year’s tournament.

Robbie Henshaw has failed to recover from hamstring trouble in time to make his World Cup debut against Romania on Sunday.

Simon Zebo starts at fullback, with Tommy Bowe and Keith Earls on the wings. “It’s not like playing them in a November global when they are pulled together from all parts of the world”, Sexton said.

Ian Madigan will start at flyhalf with Paddy Jackson certain to get time from the bench – with Madigan potentially shifted to scrum-half durign the game.

With all the teams at RWC2015 having now played at least one game, it’s interesting to see what the outside view has been of Ireland’s performance against Canada.

Cian Healy makes his first global start since the Six Nations win over Scotland last March.

A surprise inclusion in Schmidt’s squad, Cave has shown himself to be useful in both centre positions and will enjoy a familiarity with his Ulster teammate. “Well Eoin Reddan has probably contributed to that”.

One Romania player who will be praying the Irish defense loses its focus will be Catalin Fercu, who requires just one try to become his country’s record try-scorer. “He is fully running now and we just felt that we would rather not push ahead”, Schmidt said at a news conference on Friday. “If they get into broken play they really back themselves, especially after a line break or something like that”, Murray said.

It opens the door for Ulsterman Cave and he is likely to partner stablemate, Jared Payne, in the midfield.

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Paul O’Connell, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Rob Kearney. After Romania, they face Italy and France in the pool matches.

With the French scrum under pressure, none of the back-row had games to remember and Picamoles looks in need of a rest before the decisive match against Ireland on October 11.


Jared Payne is retained at 13, while Darren Cave can stake his claim as back-up for the 12 jersey.

With his Romania team-mates gathered behind him Florin Surugiu asks his girlfriend to marry him at Wembley