Ulster scrum half Isaac Boss will captain the Ireland ‘A’ team in its opening game of the 2009 Churchill Cup tournament against Canada at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado on Wednesday (kick-off 4.30pm local time/11.30pm Irish time).
Ireland ‘A’, coached for the tournament by Declan Kidney and his fellow senior coaches, will begin their Churchill Cup bid against Canada on Wednesday.
The match is the third fixture between Ireland and Canada in the past seven months, following on from the 55-0 win for Kidney’s senior side in Limerick in November and the recent 25-6 summer tour win for the Irish in Vancouver.
Eleven players who took part in that summer tour have remained on for the Churchill Cup and nine of those players are involved the Pool A clash with the Canucks, who opened the tournament with a bonus point 42-10 defeat of Georgia.
In the selected Ireland ‘A’ front row, Bryan Young and Sean Cronin start at loosehead prop and hooker respectively with Tony Buckley, who scored a try in the Test match against Canada last month, selected on the tighthead side.
Donnacha Ryan and Devin Toner make up the second row partnership, while Chris Henry, another member of the summer tour party, is selected at number 8.
John Muldoon, after starting both Test matches against Canada and the USA, is picked among the replacements with Neil Best and Sean O’Brien selected in the starting line-up after helping Northampton and Leinster to recent European success.
Niall O’Connor is handed his first start of the summer at out-half to be partnered by captain for the day Isaac Boss, who is one of only two members in the back-line to be capped, with full-back Denis Hurley the other.
IRELAND ‘A’ TEAM & REPLACEMENTS (v Canada, 2009 Churchill Cup Pool A, Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado, Wednesday, June 10, kick-off 4.30pm local time/11.30pm Irish time (live Sky Sports 2)):
15 – Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution/Munster)
14 – Fionn Carr (Galwegians/Connacht)
13 – Fergus McFadden (UCD/Leinster)
12 – Keith Matthews (Buccaneers/Connacht)
11 – Johne Murphy (Leicester Tigers)
10 – Niall O’Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
9 – Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster) (capt)
1 – Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster)
2 – Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
3 – Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
4 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
5 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
6 – Neil Best (Northampton Saints)
7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 – Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster)
16 – Denis Fogarty (Cork Constitution/Munster)
17 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
18 – Trevor Hogan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
19 – John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht)
20 – Frank Murphy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
21 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
22 – James Downey (Northampton Saints)
Ireland ‘A’ Churchill Cup Schedule:
Ireland ‘A’ v Canada, Wednesday, June 10, 4.30pm (local time)/11.30pm (Irish time), Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado (live Sky Sports 2)
Georgia v Ireland ‘A’, Sunday, June 14, 3.30pm (local time)/10.30pm (Irish time), Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado (live Sky Sports 2)
Play-Off Finals Day, Sunday, June 21, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Denver, Colorado (all finals live Sky Sports 1)