The teams have been named for the Emerging Ireland game against Uruguay in the IRB Tbilisi Cup on Friday (KO: 10pm) and the British & Irish Lions game against Queensland Reds on Saturday (KO: 10.30am Irish time) this weekend…
The Emerging Ireland team and replacements has been named to play Georgia in their opening game of the IRB Tbilisi Cup. The new annual tournament is part of the IRB’s ongoing strategy of increasing the competition schedule for tier two nations.
The Emerging Ireland side will be battling it out against some of the strongest developing nations in world rugby, Georgia, South Africa Presidents XV and Uruguay. Matches will be played in the Georgian capital with the teams competing in a round robin format.
Emerging Ireland coach, Allen Clarke is looking forward to the game and the challenge of playing an experienced Georgian side. “The squad has gelled prepared well, it’s a young side and there is huge potential there. The Georgian side are very physical and we have to match that. We are looking forward to the game tomorrow evening.’
In squad news, Peter Nelson has come in to the squad replacing Andrew Conway who picked up a calf injury while training.
15: Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
14: Niall Morris (Leicester/Exiles)*
13: Eoin Griffin (Galwegians/Connacht)*
12: Michael Allen (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)*
11: Tiernan O’Halloran (Galwegians/Connacht)*
10: Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
9: Michael Heaney (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)*
1: Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s/Leinster)*
2: Robert Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)*
3: Michael Bent (Leinster)
4: Lewis Stevenson (Malone/Ulster)*
5: David Foley (UL Bohemian/Munster)*
6: Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s/Leinster) CAPTAIN
7: Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
8: Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)*
16: Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)*
17: Richard Lutton (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)*
18: Ian Nagle (Cork Constitution/Munster)*
19: Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
20: John Cooney (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
21: Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster)*
22: Brendan Macken (Blackrock/Leinster)*
N.B. *denotes uncapped player
Emerging Ireland Fixtures – IRB Tbilisi Cup (All times are local) –
Friday 7th June, 19.00 Georgia v Emerging Ireland, Avchala Stadium
Tuesday 11th June, 17.00 Emerging Ireland v South Africa President’s XV, Avchala Stadium
Sunday 16th June, 17.00 Uruguay v Emerging Ireland, Avchala Stadium
Meanwhile, Jonathan Sexton is the only Leinster player in the squad – and one of only four other Irish players – named by the British & Irish Lions team for the game against the Queensland Reds in Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday (KO: 10.30am Irish time).
Cardiff Blues and Wales flanker Sam Warburton will lead the side for the first time as he becomes the 800th Lions representative.
Three times tourist Gethin Jenkins will join Warburton in making his first appearance on the 2013 tour, while lock Geoff Parling, prop Matt Stevens, hooker Tom Youngs and his brother and scrum-half Ben Youngs will all make their run-on debuts for the Lions.
‘Two games and two victories is great, but those two matches are building blocks as we head towards the Test series. We always said we would give every player a start in the first three matches and this team reflects that. It also provides us with the opportunity to continue to look at different combinations,’ said head coach Warren Gatland.
‘For the Reds match this includes a new centre pairing and a different front five. At the same time we have several players playing their second matches on tour and some proven combinations starting the match – Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell are the incumbent England halfbacks and we have an all-Welsh backrow.’
Warburton has fully recovered from the knee ligament strain he suffered in training and will form an all Wales 2013 Grand Slam back row unit with Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau, who will be seeing action for the third game in a row.
Tour Manager Andy Irvine said: ‘We have played two matches so far and done very well but the stakes get higher on Saturday against the Reds, who are a leading Super Rugby side. It is the type of game we require at this point in the tour and it will be a measure of how we are progressing on the field.
‘Tour captain Sam Warburton is the last of the 2013 tourists that has yet to pull on the famous red jersey. He is now fit and raring to play and it is great that he marks the occasion by becoming the 800th British & Irish Lion.’
The Reds, the 2011 Super Rugby champions, were the last Australian state team to beat the Lions way back in 1971 – their second triumph over the tourists to go with their first in 1899. Their matchday 23, announced earlier in the day includes 12 Qantas Wallabies who hold 127 caps between them.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
15: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
14: Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues / Wales)
13: Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers / England)
12: Jonathan Davies (Scarlets / Wales)
11: Tommy Bowe (Ulster / Ireland)
10: Owen Farrell (Saracens / England)
9: Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers / England)
1: Gethin Jenkins (Toulon / Wales)
2: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers / England)
3: Matt Stevens (Saracens / England)
4: Richie Gray (Scotland)
5: Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers / England)
6: Dan Lydiate (Dragons / Wales)
7: Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues / Wales) CAPTAIN
8: Toby Faletau (Dragons / Wales)
16: Richard Hibbard (Ospreys / Wales)
17: Mako Vunipola (Saracens / England)
18: Adam Jones (Ospreys / Wales)
19: Paul O’Connell (Munster / Ireland)
20: Justin Tipuric (Ospreys / Wales)
21: Conor Murray (Munster / Ireland)
22: Jonathan Sexton (Leinster / Ireland)
23: George North (Scarlets / Wales)