Rugby World Cup 2023: Johnny Sexton included as Ireland name strong side for Tonga

Johnny Sexton scored two tries on his return to rugby after nearly six months out in last Saturday's opening World Cup hammering of Romania
Johnny Sexton starts again for Ireland after making his return to action after nearly six months out in last Saturday's 82-8 World Cup hammering of Romania

2023 Rugby World Cup: Pool B - Ireland v Tonga

Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes Date: Saturday, 16 September Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Coverage: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Sounds and online; follow text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Johnny Sexton stays in the Ireland team for Saturday's World Cup game against Tonga as it has four personnel changes from the big win over Romania.

Sexton, 38, made his return to action last weekend after nearly six months out and remains at fly-half.

Wing Mack Hansen and scrum-half Conor Murray take over from Keith Earls and Jamison Gibson-Park in the backs.

Hooker Ronan Kelleher replaces Rob Herring with Josh van der Flier's recall meaning Joe McCarthy drops out.

With Van der Flier returning to the number seven jersey for the Nantes contest, Peter O'Mahony switches to blindside flanker as Tadhg Beirne reverts from the back row to his more regular lock role in place of McCarthy.

Dave Kilcoyne and Robbie Henshaw are named on the bench after not being deemed fit to be in the squad for the Romania game but hooker Dan Sheehan again misses out even though he is understood to be nearing a return to full fitness.

Craig Casey is in line for his World Cup debut after being included in the replacements.

More to follow.

Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Murray; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong; Beirne, Ryan; O'Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Herring, Kilcoyne, Bealham, Henderson, Baird, Casey, Byrne, Henshaw