Ireland head coach Andy Farrell names four uncapped Ulster players to face USA
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named four uncapped Ulster players in his starting XV for Saturday’s match with the United States.
Tom O’Toole and Nick Timoney will start at tighthead prop and openside flanker respectively, with Robert Baloucoune on the right wing and fellow debutant James Hume at outside centre.
Farrell has also handed first international starts to scrum-half Craig Casey, lock Ryan Baird and number eight Gavin Coombes.
Connacht pair Paul Boyle and Caolin Blade, Munster forward Fineen Wycherley and Leinster fly-half Harry Byrne could make their Test debuts from the bench during the game at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
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Leinster lock James Ryan will once again captain the side, which shows eight personnel changes to the team which began last weekend’s 39-31 win over Japan.
Full-back Hugo Keenan, centre Stuart McCloskey, fly-half Joey Carbery, prop Dave Kilcoyne, hooker Ronan Kelleher and back row Caelan Doris have also retained their spots.
Doris switches to the blindside flank to accommodate Coombes, who came off the bench to make his debut in the defeat of the Brave Blossoms.
Andrew Conway has been recalled on the left wing in place of the injured Jordan Larmour.
Larmour (groin) and centre Chris Farrell (head injury) left the camp this week, along with flanker Peter O’Mahony, who has begun his off season.
Prop Finlay Bealham has dropped to the bench, while Jacob Stockdale, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ultan Dillane and Josh Van Der Flier have been given the weekend off.
Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne and Will Addison complete the list of replacements.
The upcoming clash – Ireland’s final fixture of the season – is the third meeting between the two nations in the past four years. The Irish won 55-19 in New Jersey in 2017 before triumphing 57-14 in Dublin a year later.
Gary Gold’s visitors travel across the Irish Sea following Sunday’s 43-29 Twickenham loss to a much-changed England side.
Ireland and the USA are also due to meet in Las Vegas in late October.
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