Nagle's rise continues with Wolfhounds starting spot
IAN NAGLE'S rise to prominence this season took a significant step forward yesterday when he was included in the second-row on the Ireland Wolfhounds side to take on Scotland 'A' at Netherdale tomorrow evening (7.30).
Injuries to Nagle's Munster colleague Donnacha Ryan and Ulster second-row Dan Tuohy, who were both named in the original squad, have opened up a spot next to Leinster's Devin Toner, and Nagle gets the opportunity to build on his fine displays for his province.
After impressing in the AIL for UCC and Cork Constitution, the 22-year-old only made his Munster debut off the bench last March, but has made five starts this season and was superb in the win over Australia last November.
Chris Henry captains the side from his natural No 8 position, where he has seen little action this season, while his Ulster colleague Willie Faloon is rewarded for some excellent displays with selection at open-side. Kevin McLaughlin completes the back-row.
A powerful front-row comprises Brett Wilkinson at loose-head and Damien Varley at hooker, with Tony Buckley looking for a performance at tight-head that will put him in the frame for the senior squad to take on Italy next week.
Tomas O'Leary will partner Ian Humphreys at half-back.
Leinster's Eoin O'Malley and Ulster's Nevin Spence form a youthful midfield partnership, while Munster provide wingers Johne Murphy and Denis Hurley.
Gavin Duffy will play his second game after recovering from injury and, given the injury problems facing Ireland, knows a strong showing could earn him the No 15 jersey for the trip to Rome.
IRELAND WOLFHOUNDS (v Scotland A, tomorrow, Netherdale, 7.30) -- G Duffy (Connacht); J Murphy (Munster); E O'Malley (Leinster); N Spence (Ulster); D Hurley (Munster); I Humphreys (Ulster); T O'Leary ( Munster); B Wilkinson (Connacht); D Varley (Munster); T Buckley (Munster); I Nagle (Munster); D Toner (Leinster); K McLaughlin (Leinster); W Faloon (Ulster); C Henry (Ulster, capt).