Talking points from the Ireland XV to face Georgia

Andy Farrell has made a raft of changes to the side that took on England last weekend, making nine changes to the starting 15.

Ireland will face Georgia with a somewhat experimental side but there are still quite a few names on the team sheet boasting a wealth of experience.

Check out the main talking points from the side who should get Ireland back to winning ways at the Aviva Stadium.

Herring gets his chance to stake his claim

After Ireland’s costly lineout malfunctions at Twickenham it’s not overly surprising to see a different hooker starting.

While not all the blame can be laid at the feet of Ronan Kelleher, he made a number of throws that flew well off their mark.

While Herring may not be as dynamic in open play as Kelleher, if the lineout operates properly all afternoon expect the Ulsterman to be Ireland’s first choice hooker for the foreseeable future.

Beirne is moved to the back-row

While Tadhg Beirne has played as a flanker for much of his career, most of his appearances in a green shirt have been in the second row.

The Kildare man is a talented poacher, even more impressive given his 6ft 6 stature, and is certainly mobile enough on the flank for the bulky Georgian pack.

Will Connors deserves his place in the squad but Josh van der Flier’s absence from the match-day squad is somewhat surprising.

Billy Burns gets his first start

The English-born fly half brought a nice variety in attack when he came on against the country of his birth and has a prime opportunity to show off all his talents this Sunday.

While the forwards should have their hands full with Georgian pack, the opposition’s back line tends to be less challenging, which should give Burns a bit more breathing room than he had against England and Wales.

Farrell has reverted to starting Conor Murray at scrum-half and while Kieran Marmion is on the bench he has the right to feel a little hard done by.

Another chance for Stockdale at fullback

The Ulsterman couldn’t quite get to grips with the position a number of weeks ago against the French, but Farrell has given him another go in the 15 shirt.

Hugo Keenan, who will start on the wing, has been solid under high balls but Stockdale should offer more of an attacking threat from fullback if he can cut out the small mistakes.

The game against Georgia should prove to be a less stressful affair than the French encounter and will hopefully inject some confidence into Stockdale, if all goes well.

Only one new cap in the match-day squad

Munster’s Shane Daly should get the opportunity to win his first cap for Ireland off the bench after a string of impressive performances for the southern province.

However, it is a little disappointing that Daly is the only Irish player set to make his international debut this weekend.

While the likes of Harry Byrne and Craig Casey were ruled out earlier in the week, many would have hoped to see Eric O’Sullivan tog out at the Aviva Stadium.

The Georgians have yet to score a point in the Autumn Nations Cup thus far and it’s hard to see another opportunity as good as this one to bring some new faces in.

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