Monday 27 February 2017

JJ Hanrahan handed chance to impress Joe Schmidt in Tbilisi Cup

Independent.ie Newdesk

JJ Hanrahan in action for Emerging Ireland
JJ Hanrahan in action for Emerging Ireland

Northampton-bound JJ Hanrahan will be among a number of Emerging Ireland players looking to impress Joe Schmidt in tomorrow evening's concluding game in the Tbilisi Cup.

The Emerging Ireland Coaching team have named their side to face hosts Georgia in the final game of the 2015 World Rugby Tbilisi Cup.  Nine changes are made to the starting line-up from Wednesday's victory over Uruguay.

Eoghan Masterson switches to the blindside flank in place of the injured Rhys Ruddock and is joined in the back-row by Dan Leavy at open-side and Jack Conan at No.8.  Billy Holland takes over the captaincy and is partnered in the engine room by Ben Marshall.  Rob Herring returns to make it an all senior international front row alongside James Cronin and Stephen Archer.

Luke McGrath and JJ Hanrahan return at half-back with Noel Reid and Stuart McCloskey paired in the midfield.  Matt Healy has recovered from a stomach bug and will play alongside Andrew Conway and Tiernan O'Halloran in the back three.

The replacements include Dave Heffernan, Denis Buckley, Finlay Bealham, Andrew Browne, Frank Taggart, John Cooney, Eoin Griffin and Peter Nelson.

After two bonus point victories Emerging Ireland have claimed the Tbilisi Cup title but Sunday's game gives the squad another chance to impress against a side that are preparing for RWC15, especially with Joe Schmidt flyig out to be in attendance.  Georgia are in Pool C at RWC15 alongside New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Namibia.  Sunday's Emerging Ireland game will be streamed live on the Georgia Rugby Union Website.

 

EMERGING IRELAND Squad to play Georgia

Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia KO 19:00 / 16:00 GMT

 

15. Tiernan O'Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht)

14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster)

13. Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

12. Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster)

11. Matt Healy (Lansdowne/Connacht)

10. JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster)

9. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster)

 

1. James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)

2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

3. Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster)

4. Ben Marshall (Old Belvedere/Connacht)

5. Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster) captain

6. Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht)

7. Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster)

8. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

 

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht)

17. Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht)

18. Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)

19. Andrew Browne (Galwegians /Connacht)

20. Frank Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)

21. John Cooney (Terenure/Connacht)

22. Eoin Griffin (London Irish)

23. Peter Nelson (Malone/Ulster)

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