Among the four changes that coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made for the game against Samoa, wing Anthony Horgan becomes the third player to win a first cap on this tour.
Among the four changes that coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made for the game against Samoa, wing Anthony Horgan becomes the third player to win a first cap on this tour. And there is the possibility that Aiden McCullen and Paul Shields will also join the list of new caps as they are named on the bench for Friday’s game.
Horgan’s elevation is well deserved. He has been knocking on the door for a considerable time now and only injury has delayed his opportunity to show what he can do at this level.
He looked certain to make his senior international at the end of last season when he was named in the tour squad for the trip to New Zealand. However, he broke a bone in his hand two days before Munster’s Heineken Cup final appearance and that scuppered any thoughts of playing for his country.
Horgan replaces Tyrone Howe for this game with the Irish management obviously keen to examine the extent of their options in that position.
Girvan Dempsey is back in the side having missed the Tonga game through sickness and he will be anxious to exorcise the memory of a less than impressive game in the opening tour match against Australia.
In the pack, Marcus Horan comes back into the front row and his Munster team-mate Alan Quinlan is preferred to Kieron Dawson while Eric Miller has made a quick recovery from the injury he picked up in a stamping incident against Tonga.
Miller didn’t in fact have his nose broken in that incident as was initially reported.
Ireland (v Samoa, Apia, Friday, 3.30).
Reggie Corrigan capt