DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland captain Rory Best was one of seven regulars left out of Joe Schmidt’s squad for Saturday’s test against Italy in Chicago.
Schmidt named a reduced 26-man squad for the test as he is using the game to hand out vital test-match experience ahead of next year’s World Cup in Japan. Rob Kearney, Kieran Marmion, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Johnny Sexton and CJ Stander are the other players being rested.
Scrumhalf Conor Murray also misses out as he is still recovering from a neck injury.
With Best out, Ireland will have a new captain in the test at Soldier Field with one of Rhys Ruddock or Devin Toner favoured to be chosen.
Former England Under-20 centre Will Addison and Leinster playmaker Ross Byrne both moved a step closer to their Irish debuts after being included in the tour party.
Following the Chicago match, Ireland will host Argentina, New Zealand and the United States in Dublin in November.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)