Stockdale earns Test return with Henderson captain

Vingegaard closes in on title after time trial win


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Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday 5 August Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live text updates, match report and reaction on the BBC Sport website & app

Jacob Stockdale will earn his first Ireland cap in two years in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up game against Italy, with Ulster team-mate Iain Henderson to captain the side in Dublin.

Stockdale has not featured at Test level since a try-scoring performance against Japan in July 2021.

With captain Johnny Sexton suspended, Jack Crowley will start at fly-half.

In addition to Stockdale and Henderson, Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey, Rob Herring and Tom O’Toole are all given the nod.

Ulster hooker Tom Stewart is also set to make his Ireland debut having been named among the replacements alongside fellow uncapped players Ciaran Frawley and Calvin Nash.

This will be a huge opportunity for Stockdale to stake his claim for a regular starting spot in Andy Farrell’s side ahead of the World Cup in France.

A standout performer in Ireland’s 2018 Grand Slam triumph, Stockdale was part of this year’s Six Nations squad but did not play.

The 27-year-old is part of a shaken-up back three with Munster’s Keith Earls on the opposite wing and Leinster’s Jimmy O’Brien at full-back.

Henderson, who previously captained Ireland in 2021, is joined in the second row by Leinster’s Joe McCarthy, who earns his second cap.

McCloskey partners Robbie Henshaw, who missed most of the Six Nations campaign through injury, in midfield while O’Toole and Herring are joined in the front row by Dave Kilcyone.

More to follow.


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