The Ireland team to face South Africa at Aviva Stadium (Saturday, KO 5.30pm) in the first game of the 2017 Guinness Series has been announced, with 10 Leinster Rugby players named in the 23-man squad.

Rob Kearney starts at full-back in a back three that sees Andrew Conway and Jacob Stockdale named on the wings.

Robbie Henshaw will start in the number 13 jersey in midfield with Bundee Aki who is making his Ireland debut.

There is a familiar half-back pairing as Johnny Sexton is joined by Conor Murray.

Captain Rory Best is flanked by two Leinster men in the front row – Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong – while Devin Toner starts in the second row with Iain Henderson.

The back row is packed with Lions as Sean O’Brien starts alongside Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander.

Leinster’s James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock and Joey Carbery are named among the replacements.


15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 76 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 3 caps
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 29 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)*
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 2 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 66 caps
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 57 caps
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 70 caps
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 104 caps CAPTAIN
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 16 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 32 caps
5. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 50 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 40 caps
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 49 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 15 caps


16. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 1 cap
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 20 caps
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 9 caps
19. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 2 caps
20. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 16 caps
21. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 16 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 4 caps
23. Darren Sweetnam (Cork Constitution/Munster)*