PA Sport

O'Connell named full-time captain

O'Connell named full-time captain
By PA Sport

07/11/2013 at 15:34Updated 07/11/2013 at 15:43

Jamie Heaslip will captain Ireland against Samoa on Saturday - but Paul O'Connell will be new coach Joe Schmidt's full-time skipper.

Number eight Heaslip will lead Ireland this weekend as lock O'Connell has not sufficiently recovered from calf trouble to start the match.

O'Connell takes a seat on the bench, leaving 29-year-old loose forward Heaslip to assume the armband for Saturday.

But the Leinster back-rower has surrendered the full-time captaincy that he had held last season under Declan Kidney.

Paddy Jackson will start at fly-half, with Jonathan Sexton not named in the squad.

Sexton sat out a midweek training session after aggravating a niggle while goal-kicking. The 28-year-old Racing Metro fly-half was an unused replacement in his French club's surprising 9-6 Top 14 loss at bottom club Biarritz last Saturday.

Former Leinster playmaker Sexton complained of a stiff hip that day, and has now been omitted entirely from Schmidt's first matchday 23 as Ireland boss.

Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy win selection in the centres - meaning the midfield duo will rack up a combined 200 caps when they step out at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Fast-developing 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 also including Georgia, a South Africa President's XV and Uruguay.

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.

Team: 15-Rob Kearney, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Brian O'Driscoll, 12-Gordon D'Arcy, 11-Fergus McFadden, 10-Paddy Jackson, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-Chris Henry, 6-Peter O'Mahony, 5-Devin Toner, 4-Mike McCarthy, 3-Mike Ross, 2-Rory Best, 1-Jack McGrath

Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Cian Healy, 18-Declan Fitzpatrick, 19-Paul O'Connell, 20-Sean O'Brien, 21-Eoin Reddan, 22-Ian Madigan, 23-David Kearney

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