Rhys Ruddock will captain Wolfhounds
Uncapped players Rob Herring, Martin Moore and Robin Copeland in team to face Saxons
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster) is held up by Alun Wyn Jones of Ospreys during the Heineken Cup Pool One match at the RDS. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock will lead the Ireland Wolfhounds against the England Saxons at Kingsholm on Saturday (5.0), a contest that will be shown live on Sky Sports.
The Irish side, which is coached by Munster’s Anthony Foley and Neil Doak (Ulster), was announced at Carton House today and includes 12 full internationals in the starting team and just three, Leinster tighthead prop Martin Moore, Ulster’s South African born hooker Rob Herring and Wexford native and number eight Robin Copeland who have yet to be capped in the senior test arena.
Fergus McFadden is named on the right wing, to give him game time, having recovered from a fractured hand sustained during the autumn test series. Craig Gilroy is selected on the left wing.
Ireland senior coach Joe Schmidt has opted to pair Robbie Henshaw and Darren Cave in the centre, both well versed with the number 13 jersey, with Ulsterman sliding in one place for the game against the Saxons.
Ian Madigan and Isaac Boss will form an all-Leinster halfback combination with Kieran Marmion and Ian Keatley included among the replacements. Munster loosehead Dave Kilcoyne is another who is being given some match time while Jack McGrath is held in reserve.
Ulster hooker Herring made a big impression while Rory Best was absent through injury and earns this opportunity as does Moore, also based on form. Schmidt had said during the week that he would give recently injured players an opportunity and this is reflected in Iain Henderson’s presence in the secondrow alongside Dan Tuohy.
It’s a very athletic backrow, comproisning of three in-form players. Richardt Strauss is named on the bench, where there is also a place for Lienster’s Jordi Murphy and another player on the comeback trail from injury, Munster flyer Simon Zebo.
Ireland Wolfhounds: F Jones (Munster); F McFadden (Leinster), R Henshaw (Connacht), D Cave (Ulster), C Gilroy (Ulster); I Madigan (Leinster), I Boss (Leinster); D Kilcoyne (Munster), R Herring (Ulster), M Moore (Leinster); I Henderson (Ulster), D Tuohy (Ulster); R Ruddock (Leinster, capt), T O’Donnell (Munster), R Copeland (Cardiff Blues). Replacements: R Strauss (Leinster), J McGrath (Leinster), S Archer (Munster), R Diack (Ulster), J Murphy (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), I Keatley (Munster), S Zebo (Munster).