Tip-tackle suspension rules out Sweetnam
Former Cork senior hurler Darren Sweetnam has been ruled out of Ireland's final game after a yellow card he received in the early stages of Tuesday's 9-8 loss to France was upgraded to red for a tip tackle.
The move by citing commissioner surprised the Irish management as it appeared that the tackle was at worst clumsy and the French player got back up straight away, but Sweetnam has now been suspended for three weeks and will miss the first few games of the new season for Dolphin.
Adam Byrne will take his place on the right wing in the battle for seventh place against an Australian team they defeated 19-15 in the opening game of the competition.
That is one of three changes, with loosehead prop Ed Byrne joining his twin brother in the front-row, while Dan Leavy returns to the back-row in place of Ryan Murphy.
Prop Peter Dooley and full-back Darragh Leader have returned home because of injury.
Out-half Steve Crosbie, full-back Rory Scholes and back-rower Conor Joyce will start their fifth game in the competition with coach Mike Ruddock hoping they can finish on a high in La Roche-Sur-Yon tomorrow (2.0 Irish time).
"They'll have learned from the first game. They'll have done a bit more work on us to counter some of the stuff we brought to it," said Ruddock.
"But I am still expecting the boys to pick themselves us, dust themselves down and come out firing."
Ireland – R Scholes (Ulster); A Byrne (Leinster) T Farrell
(Leinster), R Scannell (Munster), A Wootton (Northampton Saints); S Crosbie (Leinster), L McGrath (Leinster); E Byrne
(Leinster), B Byrne (Leinster), C Taylor (Ulster); G Thornbury (Leinster), J Donnan (Ulster); D Leavy (Leinster), J van der Flier (Leinster), C Joyce (Ulster). Replacements: G McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), R Furniss (Worcester), A Boland
(Connacht), S McCarthy (Munster), P Timmins (Leinster), D Shanahan (Leinster), M Roche (Connacht), D Panter (Connacht).