Ross Byrne will make his first Guinness Six Nations start as one of six changes to the Ireland team to take on Italy on Saturday.

Leinster out-half Byrne, making his 17th appearance for Ireland, replaces the injured Johnny Sexton, who injured his groin in the win over France in round two.

Andy Farrell has also opted to make a change at scrum-half where Craig Casey, also making his first championship start, takes over from Munster team-mate Conor Murray for the match in Rome (2.15pm, live on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1).

Elsewhere, as expected, Iain Henderson comes in for the injured Tadhg Beirne in the second row, while Ronan Kelleher starts in place of Rob Herring, who drops out of the match-day squad. Dan Sheehan is the replacement hooker.

Jack Conan replaces Peter O'Mahony in the starting line-up with Caelan Doris shifting to the blindside flank.

In the centre, Bundee Aki takes the place of Stuart McCloskey, who starts on the bench. Garry Ringrose will win his 50th cap alongside Aki.

The back-three remains the same with Hugo Keenan at full-back and James Lowe and Mack Hansen on the wings.

Andrew Porter and Finlay Bealham keep their positions in the front row.

James Ryan will captain the side for the seventh time in the second row, while Josh van der Flier packs down at openside.

Italy boss Kieran Crowley, meanwhile, has made three changes to the team that were beaten by England with out-half Paolo Garbisi, wing Pierre Bruno and tighthead Simone Ferrari coming into the side.

Italy: Ange Capuozzo; Edoardo Padovani, Juan Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Pierre Bruno; Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney; Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari; Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza; Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro, Lorenzo Cannone.

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Federico Zani, Marco Riccioni, Edoardo Iachizzi, Giovanni Pettinelli, Alessandro Fusco, Luca Morisi, Tommaso Allan.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; James Lowe, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen; Ross Byrne, Craig Casey; Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Finlay Bealham; Iain Henderson, James Ryan (capt); Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Dave Kilcoyne, Tom O'Toole, Ryan Baird, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Stuart McCloskey.

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Watch live coverage of Italy v Ireland (Saturday 2.15pm) on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, follow our live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app, or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.

Watch live coverage of France v Scotland (Sunday, 3pm) on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.