Leinster Rugby wing Dave Kearney will make his first Ireland appearance for over two years on Saturday, when they host Italy in a Rugby World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The 30-year-old is one of several Heineken Champions Cup regulars featuring for Ireland this weekend, with the likes of Munster Rugby fly-half Joey Carbery, Leinster lock Devin Toner and Ulster Rugby hooker Rob Herring also in the starting XV.
Kearney returns after making three appearances in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, scoring a vital try in Leinster’s 29-13 pool–stage win over Toulouse and playing in their quarter-final success over Ulster.
Munster lock Jean Kleyn will make his Ireland debut, having qualified to play for the national team last month. The 25-year-old featured in six of Munster’s eight Heineken Champions Cup matches last term, including their 32-16 semi-final loss to eventual winners Saracens at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt could also hand a first cap to Munster full-back Mike Haley, who has impressed with the Irish province since moving from Sale Sharks last summer and is among the replacements.
Ireland will be captained by @RhysRuddock for their first Guinness Series 2019 game against Italy on Saturday.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) August 8, 2019
Meanwhile, Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones will become Wales’ most–capped player on Sunday, when he leads his country out against England in a Rugby World Cup warm-up at Twickenham.
The 33-year-old will line up for his 135th Test, with 126 of them coming for Wales and nine for the British and Irish Lions.
Jones is one of six Ospreys in the Wales XV named by Warren Gatland, with wing George North, fly-half Gareth Anscombe, prop Nicky Smith, lock Adam Beard and flanker Justin Tipuric also selected.
Saracens full-back Liam Williams starts for Wales at No.15, while the 2019 Heineken Champions Cup winners are also represented by England full-back Elliot Daly and No.8 Billy Vunipola.