Ireland coach Declan Kidney has named the starting line-up for the opening game of the GUINNESS Series 2008 against Canada at Thomond Park Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm). There is one new cap in the side with Keith Earls named at full-back.
The Ireland team to play Canada in the vital opening game of the GUINNESS Series 2008 at Thomond Park Stadium on Saturday has been named by Ireland coach Declan Kidney.
The team contains several new combinations at international level for this IRB World Ranking game.
Munster’s Keith Earls will start his first international for Ireland at full-back at his home ground and is the one new cap in the starting team.
He is joined in a youthful back-three by Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney.
There is also a new midfield partnership in the team with Luke Fitzgerald and Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll linking up at centre. It will be O’Driscoll’s 49th time to lead Ireland.
In the pack, Munster trio Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery and Tony Buckley have all been selected in the front row, starting an international together for the first time.
Ulster’s Stephen Ferris has been named on the blindside for the game alongside Shane Jennings on the other flank.
Jennings’ Leinster team-mate Jamie Heaslip, starting at number 8, will continue where he left off during the summer tour.
The seven replacements for the game will be confirmed by Kidney on Thursday.
IRELAND TEAM & REPLACEMENTS (v Canada, GUINNESS Series 2008, Thomond Park Stadium, Saturday, November 8, kick-off 5.15pm):
15 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
11 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
10 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
9 – Eoin Reddan (London Wasps)
1 – Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
2 – Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
3 – Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
6 – Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 – Shane Jennings (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
Replacements to be selected from the following eight players:
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), John Hayes (Bruff/Munster), Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon/Ulster), Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster), David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster), Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster), Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster), Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster).
Tickets are still available for Ireland v Canada from the ticket offices at Thomond Park and Musgrave Park (10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).
Tickets will also be available on the day of the game from 12:30pm at the West side of the Stadium. Stand tickets – 40 Euro and 32 Euro. Terrace Tickets – 25 Euro.
For information about accessing Thomond Park on matchday, please click here.