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Ireland v Samoa: Ulster's Tom Stewart earns first start but Jacob Stockdale misses out

Hooker Tom Stewart pictured in action during Ireland's win over Italy
Stewart made his Ireland debut as a replacement during the 33-17 win over Italy in Dublin earlier this month

World Cup warm-up - Ireland v Samoa

Venue: Stade Jean-Dauger, Bayonne Date: Saturday, 26 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Live text updates, match report and reaction on the BBC Sport website & app

Ulster hooker Tom Stewart will make his first Test start for Ireland after being named in the team to face Samoa in the final World Cup warm-up game.

Stewart, 22, earned his debut as a replacement in the win over Italy in Dublin earlier this month.

Ulster team-mates Iain Henderson and Stuart McCloskey also start, with Henderson named captain.

Wing Jacob Stockdale is not involved, with head coach Andy Farrell set to name his World Cup squad on Monday.

Ireland begin their World Cup campaign against Romania in Bordeaux on 9 September before facing Tonga, South Africa and Scotland in Pool B.

Farrell's team to face Samoa in Bayonne includes 12 changes from the side that started last week's 29-10 win over England, with only wing Mack Hansen, lock Tadhg Beirne and flanker Josh van der Flier retaining their places.

Stewart's inclusion in the front row comes after Farrell's first-choice hooker Dan Sheehan was forced off injured during the victory over England.

"I like everything. Well, I certainly like most things from what I've seen," Farrell said of Stewart, who scored 16 tries for Ulster in last season's United Rugby Championship.

"I've seen a determined young man that's willing to understand what it takes first and foremost to thrive in an international environment. And it's tough for a young player especially in that type of position. He's certainly done that.

"He's a determined kid who quietly goes about his job, but he certainly puts a lot of confidence into the coaching staff and players with the way he prepares etc.

"I'm hoping that transfers, that's the main thing, just being himself at the weekend because he's a good player.

Ireland: O'Brien; Hansen, Henshaw, McCloskey, Earls; Crowley, Murray; Healy, Stewart, Bealham, Henderson (capt), Beirne, Baird, Van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Herring, Loughman, O'Toole, Ryan, O'Mahony, Casey, Byrne, Ringrose.

Henderson resumes captaincy duties having stepped in for the suspended Johnny Sexton for the win over Italy before James Ryan skippered the side against England.

McCloskey is given his final chance to impress at inside centre before Monday's squad announcement having sat out the England game, and partners Leinster's Robbie Henshaw.

With Sexton serving the final match of his three-game ban, Munster's Jack Crowley is given the nod at fly-half, with Ross Byrne dropping to the bench, as Leinster's Ciaran Frawley again misses out on the matchday squad.

While it is a big chance for young players such as Stewart and Crowley, there is plenty of experience in the team with Keith Earls, Conor Murray and Cian Healy all having won at least 100 caps for their country.

Wing Earls starts after scoring a try on his 100th cap against England, while prop Healy's inclusion will see him overtake former captain Rory Best on 125 caps, meaning only Brian O'Driscoll (133) and Ronan O'Gara (128) have made more appearances for Ireland.

Murray also makes his first start since the Six Nations with his Munster team-mate Craig Casey and Jamison Gibson-Park having been selected at scrum-half for the Italy and England games.

Victory over Samoa would give Ireland their 13th straight Test win before they enter the World Cup as one of the favourites.