Andy Farrell names UNCHANGED Ireland side for World Cup quarter-final

Mack Hansen shrugs off his calf issue to return for Ireland as Andy Farrell names an UNCHANGED starting XV for heavyweight World Cup quarter-final clash against New Zealand – with lock James Ryan missing out through injury

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Mack Hansen has been selected in the Ireland starting team for Saturday’s titanic quarter-final clash with New Zealand in France, but second row James Ryan misses out through injury.

Andy Farrell has named an unchanged team for the game, from the side that started the victory against Scotland last weekend, after Hansen recovered from the calf injury that saw him removed before half time in that clash.

Starting the star winger in such a big game, after he failed to train earlier in the week, reflects his importance to the team, but also that there could be an element of risk in picking him.

He obviously had a few things to do at the beginning of the week (rehab-wise), but he’s coming good and everyone’s very confident that he’s going to be fine for the game, no problem.’

Ryan started the Scotland game on the bench after injuring his wrist in the earlier pool victory over South Africa, and after coming on against the Scots he underwent extensive treatment on the field.

Mack Hansen has been selected in the Ireland starting team for their titanic quarter-final clash

Andy Farrell has named an unchanged team for the game against the All Blacks on Saturday

Farrell indicated he could be fit for a semi-final should Ireland beat the All Blacks.

‘James Ryan, he’s out with a wrist injury that’s being sorted,’ said Farrell. ‘We expect him as well to be fit for next week if we are able to get that far.’

There are two changes to the replacements, with utility back Jimmy O’Brien replacing Stuart McCloskey, and young Leinster second row Joe McCarthy coming in for Ryan Baird.

Ireland team v New Zealand: H Keenan; M Hansen, G Ringrose, B Aki, J Lowe; J Sexton (capt), J Gibson-Park; A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong; T Beirne, I Henderson; P O’Mahony, J van der Flier, C Doris.

Replacements: R Kelleher, D Kilcoyne, F Bealham, J McCarthy, J Conan, C Murray, J Crowley, J O’Brien.

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