Rory Best
Best will win his 100th cap against Australia, becoming just the fifth Ireland player to reach the landmark. Getty Images

Ireland face grand slam-chasing Australia, looking to bounce back after being humbled by world champions New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Joe Schmidt's side are unbeaten in three of their last five meetings with the Wallabies, who are reeling after a harrowing 2016.

Where to watch

Ireland vs Australia is live on Sky Sports 2HD with kick-off at 5.30pm GMT.


Australia will continue attempts to complete a first northern hemisphere whitewash since 1984 when they face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 26 November. Michael Chieka has recovered from being whitewashed by England and humiliated by New Zealand in the Rugby Championship by reeling off three straight victories this autumn.

Wins over Wales, Scotland and France have been attained with relative comfort, with Michael Chieka finally breeding success from his crop of new players that have been introduced since the nation finished runners-up at the World Cup. But the biggest test of their credentials as possible challengers to the All Blacks comes in the form of Joe Schmidt's Ireland.

Victory in Chicago over the world champions in early November represents a decent indicator that Ireland will run Australia close in Dublin. Defeat to Steve Hansen's side last weekend in their second meeting of the autumn takes little of the sheen on the win, which ended New Zealand's 18-match record-breaking winning run.

One blow to Ireland's chances of landing a third win in four meetings with Cheika's side is the losses of Johnny Sexton at fly-half and winger Robbie Henshaw; both of whom were vital in the 40-29 victory in Illinois. Rory Best will captain the side at hooker, becoming the fifth Irishman to reach the milestone of 100 international caps.

Paddy Jackson
Jackson will be under pressure to fill the void left by Johnny Sexton. Getty Images

His presence in the pack will be important to attempting to nullify Australia's prowess in the breakdown, which has defined their success during Chieka's short spell at the helm. David Pocock and Michael Hooper start at number eight and seven, after the former produced a masterful display in victory over Les Blues.

Sekope Kepu starts in the front row and there is further power in the back-line, where Israel Folau returns to beef up the Australia attack. The visitors' options, particularly from the bench, makes them strong favourites to make it a fourth win in a row and head to Twickenham on 3 December with the grand slam still on the line.


Ireland: 15. Rob Kearney, 14. Andrew Trimble, 13. Jared Payne, 12. Garry Ringrose, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Conor Murray, 8. Jamie Heaslip, 7. Sean O'Brien, 6. CJ Stander, 5. Devin Toner, 4. Iain Henderson, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 2. Rory Best, 1. Jack McGrath

Replacements: 16. Sean Cronin, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. Ultan Dillane, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Kieran Marmion, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Simon Zebo

Australia: 15. Israel Folau 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Reece Hodge, 11. Henry Speight, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Will Genia, 8. David Pocock, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Dean Mumm, 5. Rob Simmons, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Stephen Moore(c), 1. Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16. Tolu Latu, 17. James Slipper, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Kane Douglas, 20. Lopeti Timani, 21. Sean McMahon, 22. Nick Phipps, 23. Quade Cooper, 24 Sefanaia Naivalu

What the coaches say:

Joe Schmidt [Sportsjoe]: "Garry Ringrose, he gets to play inside Jared Payne. It's another learning experience and another real experience to step up against Reece Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani. It's a massive ask for him, they're both very big men as well as starting to develop real experience - Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani has obviously got that.

"With Keith Earls, Simon Zebo was very sore after the game. He's taken two or three days. He trained today, but probably didn't train flat out. He's still got 48 hours to fully recover and we're hopeful he'll be 100% by Saturday.

Michael Chieka
Chieka is looking to inspire Australia to a fourth straight win. Getty Images

"With that bit of lingering doubt, Keith brings a freshness to the group and hopefully that will add a bit of vitality. Keith's roundly experience and also gives us a bit of midfield cover should we need it. That versatility is not too bad to have either.

"Rob trained for the first time today. We just trained him away quietly because that's how you progress them back. He's still got another 48 hours to really build himself into this weekend's match. Same with CJ Stander."

Michael Chieka [BBC Sport]: "Maybe I didn't get it 100% right at the start of the year. When the new guys started coming in, from a mental perspective maybe I tried to continue on and didn't understand that maybe they and the other players who had gone back to their Super Rugby sides had to be either reminded of the project or introduced to it for the first time."

"We needed to go back to zero and the players told who we are and how we represent Australia and buy into the project again. The club [Leinster] who brought me up and played for really taught me on that. When you're in the Aussie team you are in a position to inspire young kids and people to support us and also take up playing the game."