Milestone game for Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray

Date published: October 17 2019

Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray will become Ireland’s most capped half-back pairing on Saturday when they face New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Overtaking Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer, they are paired together for their 56th international game in the clash at Tokyo Stadium.

Murray and Sexton first lined out together in Ireland’s opening game of the Rugby World Cup 2011 against the USA and on Saturday play inside Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose. Rob Kearney returns to the line-up at full-back with Jacob Stockdale and Keith Earls starting the wings.

Rory Best will lead the team in his 124th appearance in green. Cian Healy, winning his 95th cap, and Tadhg Furlong pack down on either side of the captain.

Iain Henderson and James Ryan are paired in the second-row with Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander in the back-row.

Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne and Andrew Porter are the front-row replacements with Tadhg Beirne and Rhys Ruddock covering second-row and back-row.

Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery and last week’s man of the match Jordan Larmour are the back-line replacements.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour

Date: Saturday, October 19
Venue: Tokyo Stadium
Kick-off: 19:15 local (11:15 BST, 10:15 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Angus Gardner (Australia)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)