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Earls And Ryan Set For Irish Return For World Cup Warm-Up

Earls And Ryan Set For Irish Return For World Cup Warm-Up
By Conor O'Leary Updated
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It's set to be a special return to international rugby for Munster pair Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan. The duo 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.

With Joe Schmidt set to name his team for the first World Cup warm up today at 1.45 pm, Earls and Ryan are set to be two of the names that will get the first chance to impress the Kiwi.

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.

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Along with the Munster duo, Paddy Jackson looks set to be handed the reins in the first game ahead of Sexton and Madigan, as a host of the first choice players will be rested. Jamie Heaslip will captains the side in O'Connell's absence, that should also feature the leadership of Ulster captain Rory Best at hooker. Mike Ross is primed to continue his remarkable record of starting in every single Ireland game since Joe Schmidt was appointed.

Jordi Murphy and Tommy O'Donnell look set to battle it out between them, as they both join Heaslip in the backrow. With Cian Healy still making a comeback from injury, Jack McGrath will continue his role as premier understudy.

In the backs, 2014 Six Nations heroes Andrew Trimble and Fergus McFadden look like they will make a return - as does veteran Gordon D'Arcy. Felix Jones and Eoin Reddan are set complete the backline, with Isaac Boss pushing Reddan hard.

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Probable 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. Gordon D'Arcy
11. Fergus McFadden
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Eoin Reddan
1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Iain Henderson
5. Donnacha Ryan
6. Jordi Murphy
7. Tommy O'Donnell
8. Jamie Heaslip

[Belfast Telegraph]

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Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

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