JOE SCHMIDT WILL hand Munster lock Dave Foley and Leinster back row Dominic Ryan international debuts in Sunday’s November Test against Georgia.
Both players been named in Ireland’s starting team to face the 15th-ranked team in the world, while Darren Cave has been recalled in the midfield. Robin Copeland is included on the bench, from where he will hope to make his international debut.
Eoin Reddan will captain his country for the first time from scrum-half.
With Schmidt opting to rest some of Ireland’s big names ahead of next Saturday’s meeting with Australia in Dublin, Ian Madigan takes over from Johnny Sexton at out-half, with his Leinster teammate Reddan starting in the nine shirt.
34-year-old Gordon D’Arcy is back in the team after missing out last weekend, with Ulster’s Cave selected at 13 despite not having been part of Schmidt’s original 37-man November Tests squad.
Simon Zebo continues on the left wing for Ireland, with Felix Jones replacing Rob Kearney at fullback and the in-form Ulsterman Craig Gilroy in for Tommy Bowe on the right.
Up front, Mike Ross’ experience and scrummaging solidity sees him retained for a potentially brusing challenge against the Georgians, while Schmidt brings Richardt Strauss and Dave Kilcoyne into the starting front row.
Foley is rewarded for his superb form for Munster with his first cap in the second row, where he will be partnered by Leinster’s Mike McCarthy, who featured off the bench last weekend against South Africa.
Dave Foley comes into the second row for his debut. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland
Finally, the back row is filled by Tommy O’Donnell, Ryan and Ulster’s Robbie Diack. O’Donnell starts at openside flanker, Ryan wins his first cap on the blindside and Diack is named at number eight.
Off the bench, Munster number eight Copeland is poised make his international debut, while Rodney Ah You, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley and Stuart Olding will all expect to add to their own stock of Ireland caps in the second half.
Ireland team to face Georgia:
15. Felix Jones
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Darren Cave
12. Gordon D’Arcy
11. Simon Zebo
10. Ian Madigan
9. Eoin Reddan (captain)
1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Mike Ross
4. Dave Foley
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Dominic Ryan
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. Robbie Diack
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Rodney Ah You, Devin Toner, Robin Copeland, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Stuart Olding.
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