Luke Fitzgerald starts in the centres for Ireland's Rugby World Cup opener against Canada after Robbie Henshaw's hamstring injury

Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw has failed in his battle for fitness ahead of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup opener against Canada resulting in Luke Fitzgerald starting at No 12.

Henshaw injured a hamstring in Ireland’s final training session before travelling to England for the tournament.

Dave Kearney retains his place on the wing at the expense of Tommy Bowe, while Munster’s Keith Earls edges out Simon Zebo for a place on the opposite flank.

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Iain Henderson will partner captain Paul O’Connell in the second row, having beaten Devin Toner for the position. Towering lock Toner does not even make the bench, with coach Joe Schmidt preferring the versatility of Donnacha Ryan, who can also cover at flanker.

Ireland: R Kearney; D Kearney, J Payne, L Fitzgerald, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; I Henderson, P O’Connell (capt), P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, N White, D Ryan, C Henry, E Reddan, I Madigan, S Zebo.