Joe Schmidt is poised to make up to four changes in the pack for Saturday’s (kick-off 2.15pm) Natwest Six Nations clash with Italy at the Aviva Stadium, with Jordan Larmour set to make his debut off the bench.
Media reports this morning are suggesting that Dan Leavy and Jack Conan will come into the back row for their first starts in the competition, replacing the injured Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander who drops to the bench.
In the front row, Jack McGrath is given the nod in the see-saw battle at loosehead prop, while Devin Toner returns to the second row at the expense of James Ryan.
The backline remains in place from the dramatic win over France last weekend.
The replacements bench has a much different look to it, with the inclusion of in-form Larmour providing a creative spark if called upon.
Andrew Porter is preferred to John Ryan, while Seán Cronin is expected to see off the challenge of Ulster hooker Rob Herring, while Joey Carbery remains as back-up for Sexton.
There are mixed reports on the lock position among the replacements. Ultan Dillane is dealing with a family bereavement and James Ryan will battle with Quin Roux for a place on the bench.
Schmidt will name his team at 1.45pm today.
Possible Ireland team v Italy: Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Devin Toner, Peter O’Mahony, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, CJ Stander, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.
Follow our live blog of Ireland v Italy (2.15pm kick-off) on RTÉ Online and the RTÉ News Now App, or listen to commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.