Emerging Ireland coaches Dan McFarland and Neil Doak have named a strong selection for their final game of the IRB Nations Cup against hosts Romania in Bucharest on Sunday (kick-off 7pm local time/5pm Irish time).
There are four personnel changes and a number of positional switches in the back-line as well as a host of changes to the pack as Emerging Ireland seek to maintain their unbeaten status and claim the Nations Cup title.
Paul Marshall comes in for the injured Luke McGrath at scrum half and Ian Keatley replaces his Munster rival JJ Hanrahan in the number 10 jersey.
Stuart McCloskey takes over from Brendan Macken in the centre, linking back up with Eoin Griffin in the partnership that started against Russia last week. Andrew Conway replaces Michael Allen on the left wing with Craig Gilroy and Johne Murphy swapping positions in the back-three.
In the front row John Ryan is retained at loosehead prop and James Tracy comes in for Bryan Byrne at hooker with Michael Bent replacing Ricky Lutton on the tighthead side. David Foley joins Billy Holland in the second row after Michael Kearney was ruled out through injury.
Captain Dominic Ryan returns to the matchday squad after being ruled out of the game against Uruguay due to illness. He is joined in the starting back row by Sean Dougall, who has recovered from a finger injury, and number 8 Robin Copeland.
Sunday’s match against Romania will determine the winners of this year’s Nations Cup with both sides having recorded two victories to date. Emerging Ireland have a two-point lead over the Oaks at the top of the table. There will be a live stream on www.rugbytv.ro/player.
EMERGING IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Romania, 2014 IRB Nations Cup, Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Sunday, June 22, kick-off 7pm local time/5pm Irish time):
15 – Johne Murphy (Young Munster/Munster) *
14 – Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster)
13 – Eoin Griffin (Galwegians/Connacht) *
12 – Stuart McCloskey (Dungannon/Ulster) *
11 – Andrew Conway (Blackrock College/Munster) *
10 – Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
9 – Paul Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
1 – John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
2 – James Tracy (UCD/Leinster) *
3 – Michael Bent (Dublin University/Leinster)
4 – Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
5 – David Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
6 – Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt) *
7 – Sean Dougall (Dolphin/ Munster) *
8 – Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues) *
16 – Bryan Byrne (Clontarf/Leinster) *
17 – Ricky Lutton (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) *
18 – Paddy Butler (Shannon/Munster) *
19 – Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
20 – Michael Heaney (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) *
21 – JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
22 – Brendan Macken (Blackrock College/Leinster) *
* Denotes uncapped player at senior international level
2014 IRB NATIONS CUP (Bucharest, Romania):
Friday, June 13 –
EMERGING IRELAND 66 Russia 0, Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf
Wednesday, June 18 –
EMERGING IRELAND 51 Uruguay 3, Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf
Sunday, June 22 –
Romania v EMERGING IRELAND, Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, 7pm local time/5pm Irish time