Preview: Ireland v USA

Coming off their historic victory against New Zealand, Ireland boss Joe Schmidt will be looking to complete a virtually flawless season.

Coming off their historic victory against New Zealand, Ireland boss Joe Schmidt will be looking to complete a virtually flawless season.

Schmidt has made 14 changes to his starting line-up for the clash with the USA in Dublin.

Fresh faces come in everywhere apart from outside centre Garry Ringrose, who keeps his spot in the backline.

Rhys Ruddock takes the captain’s armband for the second time this autumn as he lines up at flanker.

He led the Irish to a 54-7 victory over Italy in Chicago earlier this month and will feature alongside Jordi Murphy and Jack Conan in the back row.

Uncapped centre Sam Arnold could make his debut from the bench, while Munster’s Joey Carbery gets the call at fly-half alongside John Cooney in the half-backs.

USA have had a fantastic year, like Ireland winning all but one of their matches in 2018.

Gary Gold’s side beat Romania 31-5 last weekend while they toppled Samoa 30-29 the week before.

The Eagles have made three changes from their win against Romania, with Shaun Davies coming in at scrum-half and Hanco Germishuys taking his spot at flanker.

Marcel Brache is moved from full-back to wing with Will Hooley filling his spot at 15. Prop Chance Wenglewski will make his USA debut if he comes off the bench.

What they said

Ireland captain Rhys Ruddock: “It’s been a really solid week. Very enjoyable and there are good spirits after the win last week. It’s important to get back on our usual routine, prepare well and we’re all really excited.

“Obviously a lot of the guys who played last week are not going to be out there and I think it’s important for us as a group taking the field that we make sure we live up to those high standards.

“That’s a bit of responsibility but as a group, responsibility is something as a group we deal well with.

“USA are a quality outfit and Tests this year they are nine from nine so they are coming in undefeated in that sense, so it’s up to us to unpick them and unlock their defence.”

USA head coach Gary Gold said: “We know this weekend will present our greatest challenge yet with the Ireland side still buzzing from their historic victory over the All Blacks.

“Ireland will be relentless as ever this weekend and our guys have spent the last week ensuring that they approach Saturday’s game with the level of intensity that will put us in the best position to meet the fight.”

Key battle: Garry Ringrose v Bryce Campbell Ringrose is the only Ireland player to retain his place in the starting XV after last weekend’s historic 16-9 victory over New Zealand.

The outside centre led the Irish backline with 14 tackles against the All Blacks and will want to show his leadership credentials as one of the senior players in the side despite being only 23.

His opposite number has impressed for London Irish with his powerful carrying in the English second tier since signing from Glendale Raptors this summer.

Stat watch: – Ireland have the best record of any Tier One nation over the last 12 months, winning 11 of 12 internationals this year. – The last time USA travelled to Ireland they lost 55-6 in 2004. – USA have won all but one of their fixtures so far in 2018, including the scalp of Scotland as they won 30-29 in Houston. The only defeat was against the Maori All Blacks earlier this month.

Ireland: 15. Will Addison, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Darren Sweetnam, 10. Joey Carbery, 9. John Cooney, 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. Iain Henderson, 6. Rhys Ruddock (capt), 7. Jordi Murphy, 8. Jack Conan

Replacements: 16. Rob Herring, 17. Cian Healy, 18. John Ryan, 19. Quinn Roux, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Sam Arnold

USA: 15. Will Hooley, 14. Blaine Scully (capt), 13. Bryce Campbell, 12. Paul Lasike, 11. Marcel Brache, 10. Will Magie, 9. Shaun Davies, 1. Titi Lamositele, 2. Joe Taufete’e, 3. Paul Mullen, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Nick Civetta, 6. John Quill, 7. Hanco Germishuys, 8. Cam Dolan

Replacements: 16. Dylan Fawsitt, 17. Chance Wenglewski, 18. Dino Waldren, 19. Samu Manoa, 20. David Tameilau, 21. Ruben de Hass, 22. Gannon Moore, 23. Ryan Matyas