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Joe Schmidt Springs Surprises In Ireland Team For First World Cup Warm Up

Joe Schmidt Springs Surprises In Ireland Team For First World Cup Warm Up
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Joe Schmidt has named his side that will face Wales in the first World Cup warm up game against Wales this Saturday.

The game will be staged in the Millenium Stadium, which is also hosting two of Ireland's pool games: the opening fixture against Canada, and the crucial clash with France.

ireland team wales warm up

Paddy Jackson has been handed the reins in the first game ahead of Sexton and Madigan, as a host of the first choice players have been rested. Jamie Heaslip captains the side in O'Connell's absence. Mike Ross continues his remarkable record of starting in every single Ireland game since Joe Schmidt was appointed.


The main story is the return to an international start for Munster pair Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan. The pair haven't played for Ireland since Ireland's horrendous loss to World Cup pool rivals Italy back in March 2013, which proved to be the end for then coach Declan Kidney.

Jordi Murphy and Tommy O'Donnell join Heaslip in the backrow and they will be in direct competition with each other to impress. Jack McGrath starts at loosehead, as Healy is still making his comeback from injury.

In the backs, 2014 Six Nations heroes Andrew Trimble and Fergus McFadden make a return - as does Darren Cave. Felix Jones and Eoin Reddan complete the backline.


Ireland Team To Face Wales, Saturday 8th August, 2.30 pm, Rugby World Cup Warm-Up

15. Felix Jones
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Keith Earls
12. Darren Cave
11. Fergus McFadden
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Eoin Reddan
1. Jack McGrath
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Mike Ross
4. Iain Henderson
5. Donnacha Ryan
6. Jordi Murphy
7. Tommy O'Donnell
8. Jamie Heaslip


16. Rory Best
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Michael Bent
19. Dan Tuohy
20. Chris Henry
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ian Madigan
23. Simon Zebo

See Also: It's Essentially A Friendly But Warren Gatland Still Can't Help Himself

Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

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