Ireland coach Dan McFarland shuffles for Uruguay game
EXTREME weather brought Ireland's first outing in the Nations Cup to a premature end, but it might have just as easily been called off due to a complete mismatch in terms of quality.
An electrical storm halted play after 45 minutes, at which point Ireland were already 66-0 up, but they should get a stiffer test today (2.0 Irish time) against Uruguay, who are building towards their World cup qualifier play-off with Hong Kong.
Ireland coach Dan McFarland has made 10 changes from the side that routed Russia. An all new front-row sees John Ryan, Bryan Byrne and Richard Lutton make their first starts of the tournament, while Billy Holland partners Mick Kearney in the second-row. Tommy O'Donnell moves from openside to blindside flanker, while Sean Dougall is named at openside. They are joined in the back-row by Paddy Butler at No 8. Munster tyro JJ Hanrahan is named at out-half, with Luke McGrath coming in at No 9 and Johne Murphy skippers the side.
Ireland's campaign concludes against hosts Romania on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Connacht have wrapped up their recruitment for the coming season after signing Trinity winger Niyi Adeolokun on a one-year contract.
Adeolokun brings to 41 the number of players on the province's books for the new season, including former All Black Mils Muliaina and Bundee Aki.
Emerging Ireland – C Gilroy (Ulster); J Murphy (Munster), B Macken (Leinster), E Griffin (Connacht), M Allen (Ulster); JJ Hanrahan (Munster), L McGrath (Leinster); J Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster), B Byrne (Leinster), R Lutton (Ulster); M Kearney (Connacht), B Holland (Ulster); T O'Donnell (Munster), S Dougall (Munster), P Butler (Munster). Reps: J Tracy (Leinster), C Black (Ulster), D Foley (Munster), D Ryan (Leinster), P Marshall (Ulster), I Keatley (Munster), A Conway (Munster)