Six Nations 2018: Ireland set to include Jordan Larmour in squad for Italy game
|Six Nations 2018: Ireland v Italy|
|Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 10 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT|
|Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Ulster. Live text commentary, report and video highlights on the BBC website and app.|
Leinster talent Jordan Larmour looks set on Thursday to be named in Ireland’s squad for Saturday’s Six Nations game against Italy in Dublin.
The uncapped 20-year-old has scored six tries in 14 Leinster games this season after making his debut in September.
His touchdowns have included stunning scores powered by astonishing bursts of speed against Ulster and Munster.
“We’re not looking at him (Larmour) and saying, ‘he’s not ready’,” said Ireland’s kicking coach Richie Murphy.
“He has learned very quickly. It is just a matter of whether it is right this week or not and that will come down to the selection process.”
Leavy likely to replace injured Van der Flier
After last week’s dramatic opening win over France in Paris, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is certain to have to make at least one enforced change with flanker Dan Leavy expected to replace his injured Leinster team-mate Josh van der Flier.
Van der Flier has been ruled out for the rest of this season after sustaining knee ligament damage in the France game.
Wholesale changes look unlikely but the starting XV could show a number of other alterations.
Devin Toner may return to the second row despite James Ryan’s impressive display in Paris while Schmidt could opt to rotate his loose-head props by recalling Jack McGrath in place of Cian Healy.
There has also been some speculation that number eight CJ Stander could be rested, with Leinster’s Jack Conan possibly being drafted into the back row.
Paris hero Sexton expected to start
Paris drop goal hero Johnny Sexton is likely to start at fly-half although his understudy Joey Carbery can expect to see some action against Conor O’Shea’s Italians after remaining on the bench for all of last weekend’s opener.
In addition to McGrath, Toner and Leavy, Schmidt also introduced Sean Cronin, John Ryan and Fergus McFadden as replacements in Paris and all could be in contention for more game time this weekend.
Saturday’s encounter will be former Ireland full-back O’Shea’s first match in Dublin as Azzurri head coach.
Schmidt’s men have three home games – against Italy, Wales and Scotland – before the keenly anticipated match against England at Twickenham on 17 March.