Rugby World Cup 2015: Bowe and Henshaw to start for Ireland

Tommy Bowe is about to score his first try against Romania
Tommy Bowe retains his place after scoring two tries in last weekend's win over Romania
Rugby World Cup: Ireland v Italy
Venue: Olympic Stadium, London Date: Sunday, 4 October Kick-off: 16:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster, plus live coverage on the BBC Sport website.

Tommy Bowe will start in Ireland's World Cup game against Italy on Sunday as Robbie Henshaw returns to the side.

Bowe is preferred to Luke Fitzgerald as Keith Earls switches from wing to partner fit-again Henshaw at centre.

Earls takes over from injured Jared Payne in midfield while Simon Zebo will again start at full-back as Rob Kearney is not risked following his hip injury.

The Ireland side shows 11 changes from the win over Romania while Italy include their star man Sergio Parisse.

Victory over the Azzurri will secure Ireland's place in the quarter-finals.

Inspirational number eight Sergio Parisse missed the opening defeat by France and unimpressive win over Canada as he recovered from a calf haematoma.

Jacques Brunel's side shows five changes from the Canada game with Andrea Manici replacing injured hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and Matias Aguero, Simone Favaro and centre Michele Capagnaro also drafted in.

More from rugby:
World Cup gossip column
Get World Cup alerts direct to your phone
World Cup 2015 fixtures and groups
For the latest rugby union news, follow@bbcrugbyunion on Twitter

Connacht star Henshaw is the only member of Ireland's 31-man squad not to have sampled World Cup action so far after missing the opening two games because of a hamstring injury.

Half-backs Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray return to the backs along with Dave Kearney for the game at London's Olympic Stadium.

Captain Paul O'Connell, Rory Best, Iain Henderson, Seanie O'Brien, Mike Ross, Peter O'Mahony and Jack McGrath are recalled to the pack by coach Joe Schmidt as Cian Healy has to be content with a place on the bench.

Healy made his first start since undergoing neck surgery in May in last weekend's game against the Romanians.

Zebo retained after impressing against Romania

Centre Payne has been unable to train this week because of a bruised foot and is continuing to receive treatment.

Full-back Kearney did resume training on Wednesday after sustaining a hip injury following his introduction as a replacement against Romania.

However, Schmidt has opted to retain the talented Zebo at full-back after the Munster flyer's impressive display against the Romanians.

"Jared's injury is just inflammation and discomfort and he's able to walk around freely now and jog on it but he hasn't been able to prepare himself for the game," said Schmidt.

"Rob is probably fit for play but he wasn't fit at the start of the week. There are no real doubts about him for next week."

Lions star Bowe scored two tries in Ireland's 44-10 victory over Romania after missing the win over Canada and that impressive display proved enough to keep him in the team.

Ireland: S Zebo; T Bowe, K Earls, R Henshaw, D Kearney; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; I Henderson, P O'Connell (capt); P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, N White, D Toner, C Henry, E Reddan, I Madigan, L Fitzgerald

Italy: L McLean; L Sarto, M Capagnaro, G Garcia, G Venditti; T Allan, E Gori; M Aguero, A Manici, L Cittadini; Q Geldenhuys, J Furno; F Minton, S Favaro, S Parisse (capt).

Replacements: D Giazzon, M Rizzo, D Chistolini, A Zanni, Mauro Bergamasco, G Palazzani, C Canna, T Benvenuti.

Top Stories