Centre will start against Australia at 12
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt hopes to develop Garry Ringrose further into an international class centre as he named the Leinster youngster in his starting team to face Australia in the final November test.
The 21-year-old has been named at inside rather than outside centre for Saturday's fixture against the Wallabies, replacing the injured Robbie Henshaw in the 12 jersey.
He will partner the experienced 13 incumbent Jared Payne in the centre partnership.
With the team named, Schmidt spoke of the development potential around Ringrose.
Head Coach Joe Schmidt ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
"It’s another opportunity to invest in Garry. We’ve had him in camp for a year and a half at different points, so he’s been a bit of a long-term investment which we want to take this opportunity to develop a bit further," he said.
When Ringrose started in the win over Canada two weeks ago, Schmidt partnered him with Ulster's Luke Marshall.
This time, the Ireland coach believes the experience of Payne at centre will aid the player in his learning curve.
"He gets to play inside Jared Payne. It’s another learning experience," he said.