The Ireland team and replacements for the Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Russia at Rotorua International Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 6pm local time/6am Irish time) has been announced.
There are ten changes, one of which is a positional switch, to the starting line-up from Ireland’s 15-6 win over Australia last weekend.
Fergus McFadden starts on the right wing and is one of four Rugby World Cup debutants in the selected side. Keith Earls moves from the wing to outside centre to partner Paddy Wallace, who will be making his first appearance of the tournament.
Andrew Trimble is named on the left wing, with Ronan O’Gara, who played against Russia back in 2002, and Isaac Boss forming the half-back partnership.
World Cup newcomer Sean Cronin makes the switch with Rory Best from the replacements to start at hooker, while Tony Buckley has his first start of the tournament at tighthead prop.
The back row from the Australian game has been altered as Donnacha Ryan starts at blindside flanker in place of Stephen Ferris.
The final change to the side is the selection of Leo Cullen in the second row. He comes into the team in place of Paul O’Connell and will also have the honour of captaining the team in his first Rugby World Cup match.
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Russia, 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C, Rotorua International Stadium, Sunday, September 25, kick-off 6pm local time/6am Irish time):
15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
13 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
12 – Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)
11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
9 – Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Sean Cronin (Leinster) *
3 – Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster) * (capt)
6 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster) *
7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
16 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
17 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
18 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
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 Rugby World Cup debutant
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