Cian Healy
Healy returns from the start for the first time inced undergoing surgery Getty Images

Ireland take on Romania as they attempt to remain unbeaten in the World Cup group stage at Wembley Stadium.

Where to watch

Ireland vs Romania kicks off at 4.45pm BST on 27 September. Live coverage is available on ITV HD and BBC Radio Five Live.


Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has opted to showcase their strengthen in depth in their second World Cup pool match, with 12 changes made from the opening weekend win over Canada. Robbie Henshaw may be missing out again, but a XV which is the oldest in the tournament\'s history is nevertheless expected to continue their unbeaten record.

Simon Zebo, Tommy Bowe and Darren Cave freshen up the backline, but the standout recall is for loose-head Cian Healy, who makes his first start since undergoing neck surgery in May. Richardt Strauss and Donnacha Ryan are the other notable inclusions. Ireland\'s biggest victory in the competition is their 64-7 win over Namibia in 2003, but Romania displayed plenty of evidence they can keep the scoring competitive in their loss to France.

Catalin Fercu
Fercu goes in pursuit of Romania\'s all-time try record against Ireland Getty Images

Only when Ion Paulică was sin-binned did Les Blues penetrate the Romania defence, and though Ireland will be big favourites to make it two wins from two, they face an uphill task. The Oaks have made eight changes from the loss to France, naming their oldest World Cup XV ever for a second straight game.

All eyes will be on Cătălin Fercu, who is one try away from becoming Romania\'s all-time record try-scorer but the reality is the contest is merely a warm-up for both teams ahead of bigger tests. Romania face their pivotal pool match against Canada next Tuesday, while Ireland face Six Nations rivals Italy and France in an attempt to finish in top spot.


Ireland: 15. Simon Zebo, 14. Tommy Bowe, 13. Jared Payne, 12. Darren Cave, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Eoin Reddan; 1. Cian Healy, 2. Richardt Strauss, 3. Nathan White, 4. Donnacha Ryan, 5. Devin Toner, 6. Jordi Murphy, 7. Chris Henry, 8. Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16. Sean Cronin, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Tadhg Furlong, 19. Paul O\'Connell, 20. Seán O\'Brien, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Paddy Jackson, 23. Rob Kearney.

Romania: 15. Cătălin Fercu, 14. Adrian Apostol, 13. Paula Kinikinilau, 12. Csaba Gál, 11. Ionut Botezatu, 10. Michael Wiringi, 9. Valentin Calafeteanu, 1. Andrei Ursache, 2. Andrei Radoi, 3. Ion Paulică, 4. Valentin Popîrlan, 5. Ovidiu Tonița, 6. Valentin Ursache, 7. Mihai Macovei (c), 8. Daniel Carpo.

Replacements: 16. Mihai Lazăr, 17. Otar Turashvili, 18. Alexandru Țăruș, 19. Johannes van Heerden, 20. Stelian Burcea, 21. Florin Surugiu, 22. Florin Ionita, 23. Florin Vlaicu.

What the coaches say

Joe Schmidt: \"There\'s a realisation from them, particularly after viewing Wednesday evening\'s game with Romania playing France, there\'s a realisation that it\'s an opportunity but also a massive responsibility from them to ensure that we get the result, and that\'s going to take a bit of work. Cian is always an asset whether he\'s in the starting team or off the bench. I think he came off the bench mostly through the Six Nations but the one start he did get against Scotland he got two turnovers in the first 20 minutes on the ground.\"

Joe Schmidt
Schmidt has rung the changes for Ireland\'s second pool match Getty Images

Lynn Howells: \"It has been very difficult for us, but the players have used the time well and by the time we arrive at Wembley we will be ready. I wanted to pick the best team and one that would do us proud. Experience was a factor but not a deciding one. When you pick a bench you pick the players that can cover the most positions, and the bench I have picked covers that. You don\'t think about the next best person for a specific position, it\'s nothing to do with injuries.\"

Other fixtures

12pm BST: Australia vs Uruguay (Villa Park)

2.30pm BST: Scotland vs United States (Elland Road)