World Rugby Player of the Year Jonathan Sexton will captain Ireland in its Rugby World Cup match against Russia on Thursday after recovering from a thigh injury.

The flyhalf missed Ireland’s shock 19-12 defeat to Japan in Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday, which threw Pool A wide open, with a knock he suffered in the opening 27-3 win over Scotland.

Sexton was one of 11 changes made by Joe Schmidt, in what is the New Zealander’s last tournament before he steps down as Ireland coach.

Ireland faces Russia in a Pool A match at Kobe Misaki Stadium on Thursday:

Ireland lineup

Rob Kearney; Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Keith Earls; Jonathan Sexton (captain), Luke McGrath; Jordi Murphy, Peter O’Mahony, Rhys Ruddock; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; John Ryan, Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, CJ Stander, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Jordan Larmour


Coronavirus banner