Leinster Rugby full-back Rob Kearney will make his first Test start since June on Saturday, when he appears for Ireland against New Zealand at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
The three-time European Cup winner is one of four changes made by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt to the side who defeated Argentina 28-17 last weekend.
The 32-year-old – who has also tasted Challenge Cup success, in 2013 – has made 77 appearances in European competition, with seven of them coming in last season’s Champions Cup-winning campaign including the final against Racing 92 in Bilbao.
Centre Garry Ringrose, also a Champions Cup winner with Leinster last season, is recalled as well, replacing Ulster Rugby’s Will Addison, who was a late replacement last week for the injured Robbie Henshaw.
ICYMI | Rory Best will lead out Ireland versus the All Blacks on Saturday, with Jacob Stockdale also named in the starting team.
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) November 15, 2018
The other two changes also involve Leinster players, with lock Devin Toner and flanker Josh van der Flier respectively replacing Ulster’s Iain Henderson and Leinster’s Sean O’Brien, who is expected to return from injury for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Heineken Champions Cup. Dan Leavy was originally chosen at flanker, but he has had to withdraw after failing a fitness test today.
Leinster sit second in Pool 1 as they bid to win a record-breaking fifth European Cup. They trail Toulouse after a 28-27 defeat to the French side.
Ulster hooker Rory Best again captains the side, while Munster Rugby flanker Peter O’Mahony and Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton are the vice-captains.