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Ireland Team Named For New Zealand Test

Ireland Team Named For New Zealand Test

The Ireland team to play New Zealand this Saturday has been named and shows ten changes to the starting line-up from last week’s home clash with the Barbarians.

In the back-line, Tommy Bowe, Gordon D’Arcy and Tomas O’Leary will all start the game, as does captain Brian O’Driscoll who will win his 102nd cap at centre.

Ronan O’Gara will collect his 99th Ireland cap, starting at out-half after being a replacement for the final three matches in the RBS 6 Nations.

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Cian Healy and John Hayes will scrum down either side of Sean Cronin in the front row, and will be backed up by the experienced all-Munster second row pairing of Donncha O’Callaghan and Mick O’Driscoll.

John Muldoon, the man-of-the-match against the Barbarians, retains his starting place in the back row and is joined by David Wallace and Jamie Heaslip.

Cronin and Muldoon have shown strong form for Connacht all season and will relish this chance to take on the world’s top-ranked side.

The replacements bench contain two uncapped players in John Fogarty and Dan Tuohy, who have both been included in an Ireland Test squad for the first time.

Commenting on the team selection, Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said: “Whenever you pick your national team there’s an onus on you to do that (pick your strongest side). All these boys are training well.

“There were marginal calls to be made in several positions but that’s the job of the coach to make those calls.

“When you’re playing the number 1 ranked team in the world, the only thing you have your eyes fixed on is them, because if you take eyes off them you’re going to get a thumping.

“Saturday is the reason why you get into sport – to play the best teams in the world, especially on their own home patch. We’ll see how we go against them. And what happens after that will look after itself.”

He added: “Ronan has been playing well over the last couple of months and we felt he deserved this fixture. We just think Ronan is the right guy for this game for a mixture of reasons, and experience is one of them.”

IRELAND TEAM & REPLACEMENTS (v New Zealand, Summer Tour Test, Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, Saturday, June 12, kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time):

15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
9 – Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
3 – John Hayes (Buff/Munster)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6 – John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht)
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)


16 – John Fogarty (De La Salle Palmerston/Leinster) *
17 – Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
18 – Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster) *
19 – Shane Jennings (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
20 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
22 – Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers)

* Denotes uncapped player