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Ireland's Kearney, Earls ruled out of Scotland opener

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By Reuters
Ireland's Kearney, Earls ruled out of Scotland opener
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v Ireland - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Britain - February 9, 2019 Ireland's Rob Kearney arrives at the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith   -   Copyright  Lee Smith(Reuters)

By Padraic Halpin

YOKOHAMA (Reuters) – Ireland must do without the experience of Rob Kearney and Keith Earls in their back three for the World Cup opener against Scotland after the pair ran out of time to prove their fitness on Friday.

Munster’s Andrew Conway will take the place of Ireland’s record World Cup try scorer Earls on the wing while Leinster’s 22-year-old flyer Jordan Larmour comes in for Kearney, who was set to start in his third World Cup.

With 170 caps between the two injured men and influential centre Robbie Henshaw already ruled out, the Johnny Sexton-marshalled Irish backline will feature five World Cup debutants in Sunday’s Pool A clash.

In the pack, coach Joe Schmidt opted for a back row of Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier while Iain Henderson partners James Ryan at lock.

Ireland: 15-Jordan Larmour, 14-Andrew Conway, 13-Garry Ringrose, 12-Bundee Aki, 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 (captain), 1-Cian Healy

Replacements: 16-Niall Scannell, 17-Dave Kilcoyne, 18-Andrew Porter, 19-Tadhg Beirne, 20-Jack Conan, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Jack Carty, 23-Chris Farrell.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Ian Ransom)