Thursday 22 March 2018

Kiss freshens things up

Les Kiss has made several changes for Saturday's Test against Canada
Les Kiss has made several changes for Saturday's Test against Canada

Ireland coach Les Kiss has made seven changes to his team to face Canada with Munster's James Downey making his debut at 32.

Ireland beat the US Eagles by three points last weekend and the Australian is looking to freshen things up for Saturday's clash at the BMO Field in Toronto, their last of the season.

Andrew Trimble will win his 50th cap on the wing as he replaces Simon Zebo, who is with the Lions, while Felix Jones replaces Robbie Henshaw at full-back. Up front, Dave Kilcoyne drops to the bench with Tom Court starting at loosehead along with Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross.

Devin Toner is joined by Dan Tuohy in the second row, while Leinster's Kevin McLaughlin comes into the back-row alongside Tommy O'Donnell.

Ian Madigan continues to lead the backline, edging Paddy Jackson out in a call that will provoke plenty of debate about the pecking order behind Jonny Sexton next season. He partners Isaac Boss at half-back.

The stomach bug that affected 11 squad members has cleared and Kiss had a full squad to choose from. The coach says that while preparations are not ideal, he feels he has to freshen his side up.

Kiss explained: "The preparation wasn't ideal but those things happen on tour, particularly at the end of a season. Managing the resources at the back end is also very important, not only to freshen things up as you can see but to keep some of the spine in place to make sure we get some form of continuity."

Canada name their team on Friday morning as they continue to monitor a number of players nursing injuries from their meeting with Tonga last weekend.

Ireland team: F Jones (Munster); F McFadden (Leinster), D Cave (Ulster), J Downey (Munster), A Trimble (Ulster); I Madigan (Leinster), I Boss (Leinster); T Court (Ulster), R Strauss (Leinster), M Ross (Leinster); D Tuohy (Ulster), D Toner (Leinster); K McLaughlin (Leinster), T O'Donnell (Munster), P O'Mahony (capt, Munster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), M McCarthy (Connacht), C Henry (Ulster), P Marshall (Ulster), P Jackson (Ulster), R Henshaw (Connacht).

Press Association

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