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Six Changes For Ireland Wolfhounds

Six Changes For Ireland Wolfhounds

The O2 Ireland Wolfhounds team to play England Saxons at Ravenhill on Friday has been named, with tickets for the game available for purchase from the Ulster Branch.

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There are two changes in the back-line from last Friday’s outing against Scotland ‘A’, with the 21-year-old David Kearney making his Wolfhounds debut at full-back in place of Gavin Duffy.

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Kearney’s Leinster colleague Isaac Boss moves up from the bench to take over at scrum half from Tomas O’Leary, who will start for the senior side on Saturday.

Declan Fitzpatrick gets a chance to wear the green jersey on his home pitch at Ravenhill, coming in at tighthead prop for the injured Tony Buckley.

The Wolfhounds will field an all-Munster second row partnership in Donnacha Ryan and Mick O’Driscoll, with Devin Toner and Ian Nagle making way. Nagle will provide back-up as a replacement.

The final change to the side is at blindside flanker where Connacht’s Mike McCarthy,  who is another Wolfhounds debutant, replaces Kevin McLaughlin.

Commenting on Friday’s encounter in Belfast, O2 Ireland Wolfhounds head coach Eric Elwood said: “I think there were some good things we can take out of the last game (in Scotland), but this week sees another step up for the players in terms of opposition.

“While some of the guys have moved onto the senior squad which is great to see, we have some quality experience coming back into our team with Mick O’Driscoll and Donnacha (Ryan) giving us some great grunt in the forwards, which will be really important this Friday.

“I want the players who were involved last week to learn from the game where, in the first half, we really bossed the contact area.

“If we can do that and be accurate in the set piece, we have enough talent in the side to cause any side real problems at this level, but we will have to improve to match a good Saxons team.

“Playing at home is a great plus for us and hopefully we will have a big Ravenhill crowd to make it a good atmosphere to help give those home supporters a good performance and a win.”

Highlights of Friday’s match will be available to view on the BBC Sport NI website from Saturday afternoon.

O2 IRELAND WOLFHOUNDS Team & Replacements (v England Saxons, ‘A’ International Match, Ravenhill, Friday, February 4, kick-off 7.30pm):

15 – David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
14 – Johne Murphy (Young Munster/Munster)
13 – Eoin O’Malley (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
12 – Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11 – Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10 – Ian Humphreys (Ballymena/Ulster)
9 – Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster)
1 – Brett Wilkinson (Galwegians/Connacht)
2 – Damien Varley (Garryowen/Munster)
3 – Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster)
4 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
5 – Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6 – Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
7 – Willie Faloon (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
8 – Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster) (capt)


16 – Nigel Brady (Dungannon/Ulster)
17 – Jamie Hagan (Corinthians/Connacht)
18 – Ian Nagle (Cork Constitution/Munster)
19 – Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
20 – Paul Marshall (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
21 – Ian Keatley (Galwegians/Connacht)
22 – Fionn Carr (Galwegians/Connacht)

Related Links –

O2 Ireland Wolfhounds v England Saxons Tickets