Jacob Stockdale: Ireland winger back for crunch Test decider against Australia

Jacob Stockdale
Jacob Stockdale

Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale returns to the Ireland side for Saturday's crunch Test Series decider against Australia.

He was not included in last week's matchday squad as Ireland secured a 26-21 win over the Wallabies to level the series after they had lost 18-9 in the opener a week previous.

Stockdale who was Six Nations 'player of the year' is one of a number of changes to the side which won in Melbourne last weekend.

A number of injuries have forced some changes ahead of the third and final summer Test at the ANZ Stadium as the Irish look to seal a series win on the back of last weekend's 26-21 victory in Melbourne.

Garry Ringrose, Dan Leavy (sternum), Andrew Conway (hip) and Iain Henderson were all ruled out of contention due to injury as Ireland seek a first series win in the Southern Hemisphere since 1979.

Prop Cian Healy, who left the pitch with a shoulder injury early in the second-half at AAMI Park, has been named on the replacements bench.

In the front row, Jack McGrath - on his 50th cap - and Sean Cronin will partner Leinster team-mate Tadhg Furlong.

Jack Conan is set to make his first start of the series at number eight as Schmidt has gone for a new back-row configuration, moving captain Peter O'Mahony from blindside flanker to openside as he too collects his 50th cap, while CJ Stander makes the switch from number eight to blindside.

The half-back pairing of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton are joined in midfield by Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw, while Jacob Stockdale comes back into the back three alongside Keith Earls and Rob Kearney.

Leinster's uncapped Ross Byrne is named in the replacements as is Tadhg Beirne of Scarlets, who made his debut last week with John Ryan, Niall Scannell, Jordi Murphy, Kieran Marmion and Jordan Larmour completing the bench.

Ireland team: R Kearney (Leinster), K Earls (Munster), R Henshaw (Leinster), B Aki (Connacht), J Stockdale (Ulster), J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), S Cronin (Leinster), T Furlong (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster), J Ryan (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), P O'Mahony (Captain, Munster), J Conan (Leinster).

Replacements: N Scannell (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), J Ryan (Munster), T Beirne (Scarlets), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), R Byrne (Leinster), J Larmour (Leinster).