Friday 19 January 2018

O'Gara to lead Ireland against Barbarians

Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Getty Images
Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Getty Images

Ronan O'Gara will lead Ireland in Friday's uncapped match against the Barbarians at Thomond Park.

O'Gara reforms his old half-back partnership with Munster colleague Peter Stringer with Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton included in the bench.

Only two of the Leinster side that lost Saturday's Magners League grand final to Ospreys start with full-back Rob Kearney and winger Shane Horgan in action.

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll is among those rested ahead of the tour to New Zealand and Australia, which departs on Saturday.

Head coach Declan Kidney has selected four uncapped players for the clash in locks Ed O'Donoghue and Dan Touhy, centre Fergus McFadden and number eight Chris Henry.

Adding a grizzled face to a pack short on experience is prop Marcus Horan with his Munster team-mate Tony Buckley starting at tighthead.

On the bench are Ireland regulars and Munster favourites Jerry Flannery, David Wallace and Tomas O'Leary.

Ireland face the All Blacks - who they have never beaten - in New Plymouth on June 12 and meet the New Zealand Maori the following Friday before closing the tour against Australia in Brisbane on June 26.

They head down under without the injured Paul O'Connell, Stephen Ferris, Denis Leamy and Luke Fitzgerald.

Ireland XV: R Kearney (Leinster), S Horgan (Leinster), G Duffy (Connacht), F McFadden (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster), R O'Gara (Munster, capt), P Stringer (Munster), M Horan (Munster), S Cronin (Connacht), T Buckley (Munster), E O'Donoghue (Ulster), D Tuohy (Ulster), J Muldoon (Connacht), N Ronan (Munster), C Henry (Ulster).

Replacements: J Flannery (Munster), T Court (Ulster), M O'Driscoll (Munster), D Wallace (Munster), T O'Leary (Munster) J Sexton (Leinster), P Wallace (Ulster).

Press Association

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