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Ireland Expect To Make Changes For Series Decider Against Australia

Ireland Expect To Make Changes For Series Decider Against Australia
By PJ Browne

Simon Easterby is optimistic that Ireland will have a full squad to choose from for this weekend's test series decider against Australia in Sydney.

After losing the first test in Brisbane, Ireland leveled the series in Melbourne at the weekend. That was despite losing players to injury throughout the game.

Cian Healy, Dan Leavy and Andrew Conway were all forced to leave the action.

"Cian trained, Dan we managed a bit, Andrew still carrying nasty hip pointer but the way they've presented themselves 48 hours post-game, is very encouraging," Ireland forwards coach Easterby is quoted as saying by Rugby.com.au.

"We're pretty happy with the availability of training today but also the way the players have shown up today and even the guys that have carried some serious bumps from the weekend are looking far better than we expected."

Munster loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne is also reported to have linked up with Joe Schmidt's group.

Whether it is through injury or otherwise, Easterby said that there will be changes for Saturday's game.

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There will be some changes and whether that's the starting team or the bench I think there's always going to be an opportunity throughout a three-test series, not only through injuries, but also through our need to get some exposure for some of the more inexperienced players on a tour like this.

We're not that far out from a World Cup and this has been a great trip for us to get to know players that we're maybe not that familiar with, but also to get some really important game time and training time with those players.

Along with Kilcoyne, another more unfamiliar face trained with Ireland in recent days - Will Addison. The 25-year-old - who is Irish qualified and joins Ulster this summer on a two-year deal - was in Melbourne visiting his sister.

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"He was over visiting family and he had an opportunity to come in," said Easterby of the former Sale Sharks back.

"When you've got someone who's moving to Ulster and is Irish-qualified and you've an opportunity to use him and getting him into the squad was good and the players to meet him as well and he trained, so it was a quite useful time for him as well and for us to see him in action."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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See Also: Aussies Asking Questions About Irish Tactics Used To Negate Israel Folau

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