McCloskey and Jackson should be on the bench for the Italy game according to Keith Wood

Both men have failed to make the matchday squad for Saturday's match

McCloskey and Jackson should be on the bench for the Italy game according to Keith Wood

Keith Wood Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Joe Schmidt's team selection for the Italy game has been criticised in many quarters for being too conservative.

Jared Payne and Simon Zebo come into the team in place of Stuart McCloskey and the injured Rob Kearney. Despite impressing on his debut against England, McCloskey has failed to make the bench.

Former Ireland captain Keith Wood spoke to The Pat Kenny Show about the selections, and while agreeing with Schmidt's team, he felt there should have been changes on the bench.

"When you pick a player like McCloskey for the game against England and then you drop him out of the squad altogether, that's very tough. Some level of experimentation there is necessary and we're not getting it."

Paddy Jackson has not featured in the Six Nations despite playing regularly for Ulster in the Pro12. Joe Schmidt has gone with Ian Madigan on the bench for the first four games despite the Leinster star not playing regularly at fly-half.

"I'd like a player that's playing ten all the time. Johnny Sexton has got injured often so with the best will in the world, when you're trying to cover the places in the backline by having Ian Madigan there doesn't for me stack up.

Ireland go into Saturday's game looking for their first Six Nations win of 2016.