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Team Named For Romanian Game

Team Named For Romanian Game

The Ireland team to face Romania in Saturday’s third and final permanent tsb autumn International (Lansdowne Road, kick-off 12.30pm) has been named.

Ulster’s David Humphreys – back starting at number 10 and as captain

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The Ireland team to face Romania in Saturday’s third and final permanent tsb autumn International (Lansdowne Road, 12.30pm) has been named.

Coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made five changes in all from the side that lost 30-14 to Australia last week – David Humphreys, who captains his country for the fifth time, and Kieran Campbell, who will be making his first start in his third Test, replace Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer as the half-backs.

Up front, Ulster captain Simon Best comes in for his third start in the last five Test matches, replacing John Hayes as tighthead prop, injured lock Malcolm O’Kelly (concussion) makes way for Leicester’s Leo Cullen, while Ulster flanker Neil Best takes the number 6 shirt from last week’s captain Simon Easterby.

Saturday will be Cullen’s first start at Lansdowne Road in three years. The Wicklow man last started a Test at the Dublin 4 venue against Fiji in November 2002.

Having sustained a knee injury at training on Monday, Ulster’s Rory Best, 23, has unfortunately missed out on his first start as Shane Byrne remains at hooker.

Saturday’s replacements bench is an experienced one, boasting 277 caps – the aforementioned O’Gara, Stringer, Hayes and Easterby are included, as well as 61-cap full-back Girvan Dempsey.

Two newcomers to the squad this week are Munster hooker Jerry Flannery and lock Mick O’Driscoll. Both have made the bench, with Flannery uncapped and O’Driscoll capped twice – as a replacement against Romania (June 2001) and Fiji (November 2002).

The knocks to Rory Best and his Ulster colleague Matt McCullough (dead leg) have bumped O’Sullivan’s list of injured players up to 11.

* Welshman Nigel Whitehouse, who was originally scheduled to be a touch judge at Saturday’s international between Ireland and Romania, has been promoted to referee Scotland’s Murrayfield date with New Zealand on Saturday.

This is due to Ireland referee Donal Courtney being forced to stand down from the Scottish Test due to an abductor strain.

David Changleng will operate as touch judge in Whitehouse’s place at Lansdowne Road – joining his Scottish compatriot Peter Allen, who will be making his senior international debut.

IRELAND TEAM AND REPLACEMENTS TO PLAY ROMANIA (Sat, Nov 26, Lansdowne Road, kick-off 12.30pm):

15 – Geordan Murphy (Leicester), DOB: 19/04/78, Caps: 33
14 – Shane Horgan (Leinster – Lansdowne), 18/07/78, 39
13 – Andrew Trimble (Ulster – Ballymena), 20/10/84, 1
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster – Lansdowne), 10/02/80, 14
11 – Tommy Bowe (Ulster – Belfast Harlequins), 22/02/84, 5
10 – David Humphreys (Ulster – Dungannon), Captain, 10/09/71, 71
9 – Kieran Campbell (Ulster – Dungannon), 06/07/79, 2
1 – Marcus Horan (Munster – Shannon), 07/09/77, 32
2 – Shane Byrne (Saracens), 18/07/71, 40
3 – Simon Best (Ulster – Belfast Harlequins), 11/02/78, 9
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster – Cork Constitution), 23/03/79, 18
5 – Leo Cullen (Leicester), 09/01/78, 17
6 – Neil Best (Ulster – Belfast Harlequins), 03/04/79, 1
7 – Johnny O’Connor (Wasps), 09/02/80, 9
8 – Denis Leamy (Munster – Cork Constitution), 27/11/81, 5

16 – Jerry Flannery (Munster – Shannon), 17/10/78, –
17 – John Hayes (Munster – Bruff), 02/11/73, 56
18 – Mick O’Driscoll (Munster – Cork Constitution), 08/10/78, 2
19 – Simon Easterby (Llanelli), 21/07/75, 44
20 – Peter Stringer (Munster – Shannon), 13/12/77, 60
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Munster – Cork Constitution), 07/03/77, 54
22 – Girvan Dempsey (Leinster – Terenure College), 02/10/75, 61

Not considered due to injury: Rory Best (Ulster – Belfast Harlequins), Guy Easterby (Leinster – Blackrock College), Denis Hickie (Leinster – St. Mary’s College), Matt McCullough (Ulster – Ballymena), Eric Miller (Leinster – Terenure College), Paul O’Connell (Munster – Young Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster – Blackrock College), Malcolm O’Kelly (Leinster – St. Mary’s College), Alan Quinlan (Munster – Shannon), David Quinlan (Northampton), Frankie Sheahan (Munster – Cork Constitution).


Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia); Touch Judges: David Changleng, Peter Allen (both Scotland); Television Match Official: Huw Watkins (Wales).