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Ireland Team To Play New Zealand

Ireland Team To Play New Zealand

The Ireland team to play New Zealand in the first Test of the summer tour has been named. The selected side includes two new caps with winger Simon Zebo and prop Declan Fitzpatrick making their first starts in the green jersey at this level.

Simon Zebo, who is the youngest member of the touring squad at 22, starts on the left wing in a team that has an average age of just over 26.

There is a new centre partnership between Keith Earls and returning captain Brian O’Driscoll, who missed this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship due to injury.

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Fergus McFadden starts on the right wing in a back-three that includes Zebo and Rob Kearney at full-back. Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray are paired together at half-back.

In the forwards, Declan Fitzpatrick starts at tighthead prop after Mike Ross failed to recover sufficiently from the hamstring strain that has been bothering him over the last two weeks.

Ulsterman Fitzpatrick will start alongside loosehead prop Cian Healy and hooker Rory Best, who will be winning his 60th cap.

It will also be Dan Tuohy’s first start for Ireland in the second row after making his debut against the All Blacks as a replacement in June 2010 – he will partner Donnacha Ryan this time around.

Behind them, Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip are all named to start in the back row.

All three New Zealand v Ireland Tests will kick off at 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time. Sky Sports will have live TV coverage of the games, while they will also be broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v New Zealand, Steinlager Series, Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday, June 9, kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time):

15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
11 – Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 – Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster) *
4 – Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster)
5 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
6 – Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)


16 – Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
17 – Ronan Loughney (Galwegians/Connacht) *
18 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
19 – Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
20 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 – Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)

* Denotes uncapped player

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