By Press Association Reporter
Published: 07:48 BST, 1 October 2019 | Updated: 08:33 BST, 1 October 2019
Johnny Sexton will captain Ireland for the first time in Thursday's clash with Russia as Joe Schmidt's men bid to set their World Cup back on track.
Fly-half Sexton had declared himself fit and ready to fire back into action on Sunday, the day after missing Ireland's 19-12 loss to hosts Japan.
The British and Irish Lions playmaker missed the Shizuoka defeat by the Brave Blossoms due to the thigh bang he had sustained in the 27-3 bonus-point win over Scotland.
Johnny Sexton will captain Ireland for the first time when his side play Russia on Thursday
But now the 34-year-old is not just ready to return, he has been pitched in from the off and as skipper to take on Russia - indicating the importance boss Schmidt has placed on Ireland firing an immediate riposte after that shock Japan loss.
Head coach Schmidt has made 11 personnel changes from the Japan defeat to take on Russia in Kobe, to account for the five-day turnaround.
Backs: R Kearney