5 talking points ahead of Ireland's Test against Canada


Ireland will bid to move past their historic maiden win over New Zealand when facing Canada at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Here, we examine five key talking points ahead of the autumn Test match.

Garry Ringrose has the chance to match the hype.

Ireland's Garry Ringrose arriving for a training session - (Brian Lawless/PA)
(Brian Lawless/PA)

Prodigiously-talented centre Garry Ringrose will finally make his Test debut on Saturday, almost a year after the clamour for his promotion started in Ireland.

Head coach Joe Schmidt has been careful not to heap too much too soon on the fleet-footed outside centre, and has not altered his stance in that regard; but Ireland field an entirely-changed XV from the line-up that saw off the All Blacks 40-29 in Chicago last weekend.

Facing the world's 18th-ranked side offers the ideal chance to rotate resources and hand chances to youngsters and fringe players. Ringrose has the skill set - now he has the opportunity to prove it.

Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony can state their All Blacks case.

Ireland's Sean O'Brien goes off after receiving an injury during the 2016 RBS Six Nations - (Andrew Matthews/PA)
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

Schmidt effectively admitted this week that beating New Zealand in Chicago while leaving stalwart back-rowers O'Mahony and O'Brien at home represented all but the perfect scenario.

Neither flanker was deemed 100 per cent match fit for the Soldier Field Test match, hence Ireland travelled without them. That has left both men ready to spit the fire of frustration all over Canada this weekend, in a bid to play their way back into selection contention for the New Zealand rematch, in Dublin on Saturday week.

Speed king Niyi Adeolokun can blaze a trail.

Connacht's Niyi Adeolokun scores a try during the Guinness PRO12 Final at Murrayfield - (Jane Barlow/PA)
(Jane Barlow/PA)

Connacht's arch-finisher Niyi Adeolokun is primed for his Test debut off the bench. The Nigeria-born speedster is arguably now the fastest man in Ireland's Test squad - though Simon Zebo might have something to say about that.

The 26-year-old helped Connacht to the Guinness PRO12 title last term, and has now been rewarded with the chance to prove his skills at the next level.

Connacht team-mate Kieran Marmion has admitted opponents often get caught out by Adeolokun's sheer pace, so the Aviva Stadium could be in for some fireworks if he joins the second-half fray.

Canada boss Mark Anscombe seeks credibility.

Former Ulster Rugby head coach Mark Anscombe - (Joe Giddens/PA)
(Joe Giddens/PA)

Kiwi coach Mark Anscombe has landed with Canada after being unseated by Ulster in 2014. Anscombe is determined to drive the Canadians up the world rankings, but knows that challenge must start with a strong showing against Ireland this weekend.

Lower-ranked nations need greater exposure to, and more matches against, the world's best Test teams in order to improve. But Anscombe insisted Canada must earn the right for such future fixtures - starting in Dublin this weekend.

Paddy Jackson ready to play.

Ireland's Paddy Jackson during a training session - (Brian Lawless/PA)
(Brian Lawless/PA)

Fly-half Paddy Jackson did not travel to the USA last week, due to "personal reasons". It has been recently revealed that Jackson and Ulster team-mate Stuart Olding were arrested by police over alleged sexual offences it was claimed occurred in June.

Both men strenuously deny all allegations, and neither has been charged. But while Jackson was omitted from the Chicago trip, he has made a quick return to Ireland's ranks - and will start against Canada.

Ireland's coaches have been unfazed by the off-field issues, with Jackson showing full focus in training this week.