Ten uncapped players in Emerging Ireland selection
Leinster’s Dominic Ryan to captain side in opener against Russia
Leinster’s Dominic Ryan(right) will captain Emerging Ireland against Russia in Bucharest in their opening Nations Cup game. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
In what can genuinely be considered an Emerging Ireland squad, Dan McFarland has named 10 uncapped players in the starting XV to face Russia in Friday’s Nations Cup in Bucharest (kick-off 2pm Irish time).
Nobody is an established international with Craig Gilroy and Tommy O’Donnell yet to feature for a second season of Test match rugby while Ian Keatley, Paul Marshall and particularly Michael Bent were capped more out of necessity than merit.
Still, it’s a side littered with potential, particularly the halfback pairing, left wing Andrew Conway and a backrow of captain Dominic Ryan, O’Donnell and new Munster signing Robin Copeland at number eight.
The match will be streamed live on irb.com.
EMERGING IRELAND: J Murphy (Munster); C Gilroy (Ulster), E Griffin (London Irish), S McCloskey (Ulster), A Conway (Munster); I Keatley (Munster), P Marshall (Ulster); C Black (Ulster), N Annett (Ulster), M Bent (Leinster); M Kearney (Connacht), D Foley (Munster); D Ryan (Leinster, capt), T O’Donnell (Munster), R Copeland (Munster).
Replacements: J Tracy (Leinster), J Ryan (Munster), B Holland (Munster), S Dougall (Munster), L McGrath (Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), B Macken (Leinster).