RUGBY: Emerging Ireland side named to face Italy in Tbilisi Cup

(L-R) Ireland's Rhys Ruddock, Uruguay's Santiago Vilaseca, Georgia's Levan Datunashvili and Alberto Chiesa of Italy
(L-R) Ireland's Rhys Ruddock, Uruguay's Santiago Vilaseca, Georgia's Levan Datunashvili and Alberto Chiesa of Italy

Emerging Ireland open their Tbilisi Cup campaign on Saturday in Georgia when they face Emerging Italy.

Jack Conan, who was a late call up to the squad earlier this week for Eoin McKeon, will start at No 8. Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey is named in the centre, partnering London Irish’s Eoin Griffin.

Emerging Ireland Coach, Allen Clarke said: “In the short period we have been together we have had a very positive response from the players.

“The game against Emerging Italy provides an opportunity for these players to illustrate to us how well they have prepared and their ability to cope within this challenging environment.”

IRELAND: Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht); Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster), Eoin Griffin (London Irish), Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Matt Healy (Lansdowne/Connacht); JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster); Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht), Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster), Ben Marshall (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) capt, Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Replacements: Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht), Andy Warwick (Ballymena/Ulster), Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht), Andrew Browne (Galwegians /Connacht), Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht), John Cooney (Terenure/Connacht), Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), Peter Nelson (Malone/Ulster)