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Big chance for fringe players

Guinness PRO12 Editor

15 Jun 2010

A number of fringe players in the Ireland squad have been handed a chance to press their claims for further international recognition this weekend.

Ireland boss Declan Kidney has selected a much-changed starting XV for Friday’s clash with the New Zealand Maori as the Emerald Isle look to bounce back from a frustrating first outing against the All Blacks in New Plymouth.

Kidney’s men were beaten 66-28 by the world’s top-ranked team last Saturday and the former Leinster and Munster coach will be hoping for a far more positive result this time around.

Regardless of the result last time out, however, Kidney had always said he would be giving everyone in his tour squad as much game time as possible this summer and he has stuck to his word.

Ulster lock Dan Touhy, who scored a try just moments after coming on during Saturday’s defeat to the All Blacks, starts alongside his club colleague Ed O'Donoghue, with late call up Rhys Ruddock of Leinster named on the blindside flank.

Munster-bound Johne Murphy starts on the left wing, with Jonathan Sexton named at outside-half alongside Eoin Reddan.

Gavin Duffy and Paddy Wallace combine in the centres, while Kidney has opted for a new front-row combination in Marcus Horan, Tom Court and last week’s debutant John Fogarty.

Full back Geordan Murphy takes over the captaincy from Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll, with fellow 2005 Lion Shane Horgan joining him in the back three.

John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, David Wallace, Ronan O’Gara and Rob Kearney are all among the replacements but the likes of first-team regulars O’Driscoll, Tommy Bowe and Gordon D’Arcy have been given the week off and Jamie Heaslip is suspended.

Ireland (vs New Zealand Maori, Rotorua, Friday 8.30am BST)

15 Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers) (captain)
14 Shane Horgan (Leinster)
13 Gavin Duffy (Connacht)
12 Paddy Wallace (Ulster)
11 Johne Murphy (Leicester Tigers) *
10 Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)
9 Eoin Reddan (Leinster)

1 Marcus Horan (Munster)
2 John Fogarty (Leinster)
3 Tom Court (Ulster)
4 Ed O'Donoghue (Ulster) *
5 Dan Tuohy (Ulster)
6 Rhys Ruddock (Leinster) *
7 Niall Ronan (Munster)
8 Chris Henry (Ulster) *


16 Sean Cronin (Connacht)
17 John Hayes (Munster)
18 Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster)
19 David Wallace (Munster)
20 Peter Stringer (Munster)
21 Ronan O'Gara (Munster)
22 Rob Kearney (Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player