Sport Rugby

Saturday 21 October 2017

Ulster's Cave set for shock recall to Ireland team

Darren Cave
Darren Cave
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

TOMMY BOWE is the latest front-line Ireland international to commit his future to the cause after signing a new three-year deal with Ulster, but the winger is highly unlikely to face Georgia.

With the IRFU getting their contract business done earlier than normal, the Lion has followed Rob Kearney and Johnny Sexton's lead in signing a new contract.

Given he has just six days between Sunday's game and the clash with Australia, Joe Schmidt is expected to ring the changes from last week's famous win, with Munster second-row Dave Foley in line to win his first cap.

Mike Ross, Rhys Ruddock, Jamie Heaslip and Simon Zebo could be the only survivors from the starting XV that beat South Africa, with Leinster captain Heaslip likely to lead the side as Paul O'Connell gets a rest.

Schmidt looks set to pair Gordon D'Arcy with Darren Cave together in the centre, despite the Ulsterman being left out of the original squad for November.

Ian Madigan and Eoin Reddan are likely to play at half-back, with Zebo joined by Craig Gilroy and Felix Jones in the back three, although Schmidt could yet throw a curve ball by selecting Stuart Olding at full-back.

Up front, Ross will be alongside Dave Kilcoyne and Richardt Strauss, while Mike McCarthy is expected to partner Foley in the engine-room with Tommy O'Donnell at openside.

Robbie Diack is understood to have been close to selection, while Dominic Ryan could win his first cap off the bench.

Possible Ireland team - F Jones; C Gilroy, D Cave, G D'Arcy, S Zebo; I Madigan, E Reddan; D Kilcoyne, R Strauss, M Ross; D Foley, M McCarthy; R Ruddock, T O'Donnell, J Heaslip (capt).

Irish Independent

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