Ireland Coach Declan Kidney has continued to throw the net across the talent pool by making further changes to the Ireland A team to play Georgia in the Churchill Cup this Sunday in Denver (KO: 10.30pm Irish time)…

The summer tour to North America and the Churchill Cup tournament were planned to allow the Ireland coaches access to as many of the up and coming professional players as possible and the team that played Canada on Wednesday in the Churchill Cup was an illustration of this.

With 14 changes to that A team from the Ireland team that played the same Canada side in a full international at the end of May, the players and coaches are continuing the theme for this weekend with a further nine changes to the side, with seven of these starting an Ireland game for the first time this summer.

Cian Healy starts at prop in place of Bryan Young with replacement and try scorer Denis Fogarty starting at hooker in place of Sean Cronin. Donnacha Ryan retains his place in the second row and is joined there by Trevor Hogan who swaps his spot on the bench from the Canada game with Leinster team mate Devin Toner, who was man of the match in that game.

Niall Ronan, who won his first full Ireland caps against Canada and the USA last month, comes into the team in the back row in place of the unfortunate Sean O’Brien who has returned home with a knee injury. Churchill Cup tour captain John Muldoon starts the game at No.8 in place of Chris Henry.

With Jonathan Sexton already having experience of working with the Ireland coaches and faring well in the Heineken Cup, Niall O’Connor is given another start at No.10 to build on his work on the senior tour to get more vital experience in the pivot position. Frank Murphy, who came on in the Canada game, takes over from Isaac Boss. There are three new faces in the three quarter line with James Downey, Simon Keogh and Ireland A debutant Felix Jones starting at full back.

Ireland Coach Declan Kidney said, “I was particularly pleased at the way in which the side kept in the game on Wednesday and showed great composure to pull through and win. That will be great experience and is something that will stand to them.

“We are continuing to try and look at players who we may not always have the opportunity to work with during the season. The game against Georgia gives us another chance to see how the players fare at this level against a side that will be certainly anxious to put in a good performance after being stung by Canada last weekend.”


15 – Felix Jones (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
14 – Simon Keogh (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13 – Fergus McFadden (UCD/Leinster)
12 – James Downey (Northampton Saints)
11 – Johne Murphy (Leicester)
10 – Niall O’Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
9 – Frank Murphy (Buccaneers/Connacht) 

1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Denis Fogarty (Cork Constitution/Munster)
3 – Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
4 – Trevor Hogan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
5 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
6 – Neil Best (Northampton Saints)
7 – Niall Ronan (Shannon/Munster)
8 – John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht) CAPTAIN


16 – Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
17 – Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster)
18 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
19 – Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster)
20 – Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster)
21 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
22 – Keith Matthews (Buccaneers/Connacht)


Georgia v Ireland A, Sunday 14th June, 15.30hrs (local time) Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado 

Finals Day, Sunday 21st June, Dicks Sporting Goods park, Denver, Colorado