Ireland kick-off their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign against Romania in Pool B on Saturday in Bordeaux (2.30pm UK time)

By Michael Cantillon

Last Updated: 07/09/23 12:37pm

Johnny Sexton has returned to the Ireland team for their 2023 Rugby World Cup opener vs Romania

Johnny Sexton has been named to start for Ireland in their 2023 Rugby World Cup opener vs Romania on Saturday, for his first game of rugby in any form since March. 

Sexton suffered a serious groin injury in Ireland’s Six Nations Grand Slam-winning Test vs England in Dublin on March 18, which kept him out of the remainder of Leinster’s club season.

The 38-year-old Ireland skipper was suspended for all three of Ireland’s World Cup warm-up Tests in August due to a misconduct charge following the Champions Cup final, in which he approached and criticised referee Jaco Peyper.

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Joe McCarthy, 5 James Ryan, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 7 Peter O’Mahony, 8 Caelan Doris.

Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

More to follow….

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