Tommy O'Donnell gets chance to shine against Russia
TOMMY O'DONNELL's international rehabilitation will begin in Bucharest tomorrow (2.0) when he starts for the Emerging Ireland team facing Russia in their opening IRB Nations Cup game.
A year after making his international debut, the Tipperary man finds himself with something to prove to Joe Schmidt at the development tournament, which will be watched by senior defence coach Les Kiss when he is finished his duties on the Argentina tour.
Ian Keatley gets the nod from coach Dan McFarland ahead of JJ Hanrahan and he partners Paul Marshall in an experienced half-back pairing, while O'Donnell is joined in an impressive-looking back-row by captain Dominic Ryan and Munster-bound No 8 Robin Copeland.
EMERGING IRELAND (v Russia) – J Murphy (Munster); C Gilroy (Ulster), E Griffin (Connacht), S McCloskey (Ulster), A Conway (Munster); I Keatley (Munster), P Marshall (Ulster); C Black (Ulster), N Anett (Ulster), M Bent (Leinster); M Kearney (Connacht), D Foley (Munster); D Ryan (capt, Leinster), T O'Donnell (Munster), R Copeland (Cardiff Blues). Reps: J Tracy (Leinster), J Ryan (Munster), B Holland (Munster), S Dougall (Munster), L McGrath (Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), B Macken (Leinster).