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Ireland Set For Tokyo Test

Ireland Set For Tokyo Test

Niall O’Donovan’s Ireland squad completed their preparations for tomorrow’s second Test against Japan in Tokyo, with David Humphreys’ Captain’s run session.

Niall O’Donovan’s Ireland squad completed their preparations for tomorrow’s second Test against Japan in Tokyo, with David Humphreys’ Captain’s run session.

Lipovitan D Challenge 2005: Sunday, June 19
Japan v Ireland, Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground, 6.00am Irish time (deferred “live” coverage, 12.00pm, highlights, 8.00pm, both RTE Two; highlights, 10.40pm, BBC 2)

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Both of Ireland’s kickers Humphreys and Jeremy Staunton took time to practice their kicks at the 22,000-capacity Prince Chichibu stadium earlier today.

In team news, Leinster centre Kieran Lewis could make his Ireland debut off the bench tomorrow.

The 24-year-old Lewis was named as a replacement along with front row back-ups Bernard Jackman and Reggie Corrigan, Shannon and Munster duo Trevor Hogan and Alan Quinlan, who cover lock and back row, and Kieran Campbell and Staunton, who played out the final few minutes of last weekend’s 44-12 first Test win as Ireland’s half-back combination, on Friday.

Connacht’s Conor McPhillips, the only other uncapped player in the Irish touring squad, has unfortunately missed out.

Lewis, who scored in last month’s Blues-v-Whites trial game in Dublin, can adapt to a number of backline positions.

Should he be subbed on against Japan, it would crown an encouraging season for the Dubliner, after he made his comeback from a year out with a cruciate knee injury against Connacht in November.

A former Ireland Under-21, Lewis made his Ireland ‘A’ debut at centre in March’s 15-9 Donnybrook defeat of France.

Stand-in coach O’Donovan confirmed his second Test starters on Wednesday, with four changes in all. The Irish management selected an entirely new back row with Denis Leamy, David Wallace and Eric Miller coming in to replace Alan Quinlan, Johnny O’Connor and Roger Wilson respectively.

The other switch from last week will see new Northampton signing David Quinlan earn his first senior start in a centre partnership with Gavin Duffy.

Ireland’s most-capped fly-half David Humphreys captains the side, having recovered from the facial injury he sustained in the early stages of the first Test.

Commenting on the selection, coach Niall O’Donovan said: “The obvious talking point is the back row, with a new unit playing together on Sunday. We felt that Denis, David and Eric all deserved a run, even though we were happy with how six, seven and eight performed last week.

“The breakdown area was particularly competitive last week and we would be expecting the same again.

“In the centre, Kevin Maggs was probably one of our top performers on Sunday in winning his 70th cap, but we felt that David Quinlan would benefit from starting on Sunday to allow him to build his experience for the future.”

Japan have made five changes to their side for tomorrow’s Test – up front, loosehead prop Shigeyasu Takagi and hooker Masakazu Nakabayashi are bumped up from the bench, while Australian-born lock Jamie Washington has been replaced by Hajime Kiso.

Japan’s most-capped player Keiji Hirose comes in at fly-half, with Hirotoki Onozawa deputising on the left wing.

JAPAN: G Tachikawa; D Ohata, R Parkinson, Y Motoki, H Onozawa; K Hirose, W Murata; S Takagi, M Nakabayashi, R Yamamura, T Kumagae, H Kiso, H Makiri, R Asano, T Miuchi (Capt).

Replacements: K Tsuagoshi, K Kasai, T Nakai, T Itoh, S Goto, T Tomioka, A Goromaru.


(15) Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster)
(14) Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
(13) Gavin Duffy (NEC Harlequins)
(12) David Quinlan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
(11) Anthony Horgan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
(10) David Humphreys (Dungannon/Ulster) (Capt)
(9) Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
(1) Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
(2) Frankie Sheahan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
(3) Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
(4) Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
(5) Matt McCullough (Ballymena/Ulster)
(6) Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
(7) David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
(8) Eric Miller (Terenure College/Leinster)


(16) Bernard Jackman (Clontarf/Connacht)
(17) Reggie Corrigan (Greystones/Leinster)
(18) Trevor Hogan (Shannon/Munster)
(19) Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster)
(20) Kieran Campbell (Dungannon/Ulster)
(21) Jeremy Staunton (London Wasps))
(22) Kieran Lewis (St Mary’s College/Leinster)

Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)