Ireland make wholesale changes
The Ireland team for the game against Scotland on Saturday shows eight changes from the side that was humiliated by England earlier this month, and one of the biggest casualties is veteran prop Paul Wallace who is replaced by John Hayes (pictured).
The Saracens player, holder of 35 caps in a test career that started in 1995 is relegated to the 'A' side while Hayes, of Shannon and Munster, will be winning his first cap. There are is also debuts for four other players, with a new half back partnership in Ronan O'Gara and Peter Strinnger, Simon Easterby replacing former captain Dion O'Cuinneagain on the flank and Shane Horgan coming in for the injured Justin Bishop on the wing. The other new faces are Denis Hickie, making his first appearance since the 1998 tour to South Africa, who replaces the other injury victim Kevin Maggs and Mick Galwey, who was a second half replacement against the English wining a second row spot over the fit again Jeremy Davidson.
The selection of Horgan on the win is a major surprise as he was widely touted to replace Mike Mullins in the centre, thus renewing his provincial combination with Brian O'Driscoll, but the injuries to Maggs and Bishop have left Warren Gatland with few options out wide.
15 Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College); 14 Shane Horgan (Lansdowne); 13 Brian O'Driscoll (Blackrock College); 12 Mike Mullins (Young Munster); 11 Dennis Hickie (St. Mary's College); 10 Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution); 9 Peter Stringer (Shannon); 1 Peter Clohessy (Young Munster); 2 Keith Wood (Garryowen - Capt.) 3 John Hayes (Shannon); 4 Mick Galwey (Shannon); 5 Malcolm O'Kelly (St. Mary's College); 6 Simon Easterby (Llanelli); 7 Kieron Dawson (London Irish); 8 Anthony Foley (Shannon).
Replacements - 16 Frank Sheahan (Cork Constitution); 17 Justin Fitzpatrick (Dungannon); 18 Jeremy Davidson (Castres); 19 Trevor Brennan (St. Mary's College); 20 Guy Easterby (Ebbw Vale); 21 David Humphreys (Dungannon); 22 Rob Henderson (Wasps).
Ireland A Team to play Scotland on Friday :
15 Dominic Crotty (Garryowen); 14 Sheldon Coulter (Belfast Harlequins); 13 John Kelly (Cork Constitution); 12 Mel Deane (Buccaneers); 11 Tyrone Howe (Dungannon); 10 Eric Elwood (Galwegians); 9 Tom Tierney (Garryowen); 1 Marcus Horan (Shannon); 2 Shane Byrne (Blackrock College); 3 Paul Wallace (Saracens); 4 Paddy Johns (Dungannon - Capt.); 5 Leo Cullen (Blackrock College); 6 Eric Miller (Terenure College); 7 David Wallace (Garryowen); 8 Dion O'Cuinneagain (Ballymena).