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Stuart McCloskey To Start Against South Africa With O'Brien Called Up To The Bench

Stuart McCloskey To Start Against South Africa With O'Brien Called Up To The Bench
By Colman Stanley Updated
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Stuart McCloskey has been named to start for Ireland in tomorrow's Autumn Nations Series clash against South Africa, following the withdrawal of Robbie Henshaw due to injury.

Jimmy O'Brien will be promoted from the Ireland A squad, who face New Zealand XV this evening at the RDS, and take McCloskey's place on the bench.

Munster's Calvin Nash will likely start on the wing for Ireland A, with Shane Daly coming onto the bench.

It continues McCloskey's recent, and hugely deserved, rise in international terms, after years of being stuck behind the world class trio of Aki/Ringrose/Henshaw, despite his consistent excellence for Ulster.

Ireland vs South Africa

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Yesterday, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell spoke to the media, and discussed the enormity of tomorrow's challenge against South Africa.

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“Honestly, it doesn’t get any bigger,” Farrell said. “I have said this to the players. This is called living, there is no better time to be an Irish rugby player.

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“Meeting an All Blacks XV tonight and performing for the group and then backing up the next day with the other lads. It doesn’t really get any better.

“When the Springboks are in town, everyone gets super excited. We know what is coming, everyone else knows what is coming,  which is why everyone else is super excited.

“We’ll play this game and for whoever is picked the week after that will be the biggest game. For you guys and for the public, this is, ‘W ow, as big as it gets’ and we 100pc get that.

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“But I promise you, next week for whoever takes the field that will be their biggest game as well. They are under the spotlight the whole time they know they are going to be judged, so therefore the feelings are pretty similar.

“Having said that, there is no doubt there is going to be an extra edge on Saturday night.”

SEE ALSO: Baloucoune And Conor Murray Start In A Classy Ireland Side To Face South Africa

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