Simon Easterby at training on Tuesday
Simon Easterby, who was introduced into the Irish system by the Exiles Branch of the IRFU, will have the proud distinction of leading Ireland against the All Blacks on Saturday.
This is a great honour, not only for Simon and his family, but for the Exiles. Simon hails from Harrogate and was educated at Ampleforth College.
The captaincy caps quite a year for Simon, after his outstanding performances for the Lions in New Zealand in the summer, not to mention the small matter of his wedding to Sarra! Rugby buffs will know that his father-in-law is Elgan Rees, a fellow Lion and former Welsh international wing of the 1970s.
Simon's brother, Guy, who also came up through the Exiles' system, is unavailable for Saturday due to injury, but as a door closes for one Exile, it opens for another.
Joining Simon in the Ireland squad is scrum-half Kieran Campbell, a West Londoner now playing his rugby for Ulster. Kieran made his international debut in Japan in the summer and was a member of the Ireland U-19 squad that won the FIRA U-19s World Cup. Like Simon and Guy, Kieran came up through the Exiles' age-group teams.