Sevens stars start in back three, Flannery gets his shot at out-half for Emerging Ireland

Connacht’s Cian Prendergast captains a brand-new side against Pumas in Bloemfontein.

Chay Mullins on the attack during Ireland's bronze medal match at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Chay Mullins on the attack during Ireland's bronze medal match at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Image: Travis Prior/INPHO

CIAN PRENDERGAST WILL captain an Emerging Ireland side against the Currie Cup-champion Pumas on Wednesday which features wholesale changes from the squad that put Griquas to the sword last Friday.

Ireland sevens players Chay Mullins and Andrew Smith start in the back three for the tourists, at fullback and on the left wing respectively, while Ulster’s Ethan McIlroy completes the set at 14.

Munster’s Irish-qualified newcomer Antoine Frisch, the Frenchman whose maternal grandmother hails from Dublin, starts at outside centre with Connacht out-half Cathal Forde lending his playmaking nous to the 12 shirt in Bloemfontein.

Forde will seek to complement starting 10 Jake Flannery, a recent Ulster recruitment from Munster, who is partnered at half-back by provincial team-mate Michael McDonald.

Skipper Prendergast starts at blindside in a back row which also includes Munster’s John Hodnett at openside and Leinster’s recent Ireland U20 standout James Culhane at eight.

Ulster’s Cormac Izuchukwu and Leinster’s Brian Deeny start in the second row, while the front row consists of Ulster’s Callum Reid at loosehead and Munster duo Diarmuid Barron and Roman Salanoa at hooker and tighthead respectively.

On the bench are several players who impressed in last week’s eight-try annihilation of Griquas, while Connacht’s Dylan Tierney-Martin and Sam Illo, as well as Leinster’s Ben Murphy, are set to make their first appearances of the tour as replacements.

Kick-off at Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein on Wednesday is at 4pm Irish time.

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Emerging Ireland team to play Pumas

  • 15. Chay Mullins (Connacht/IQ Rugby)
  • 14. Ethan McIlroy (Ulster/Ballynahinch)
  • 13. Antoine Frisch (Munster)
  • 12. Cathal Forde (Connacht/Corinthians)
  • 11. Andrew Smith (Leinster/Clontarf)
  • 10. Jake Flannery (Ulster/Ballynahinch)
  • 9. Michael McDonald (Ulster)
  • 1. Callum Reid (Ulster/Banbridge)
  • 2. Diarmuid Barron (Munster/Garryowen)
  • 3. Roman Salonoa (Munster/Shannon)
  • 4. Cormac Izuchukwu (Ulster/Ballynahinch)
  • 5. Brian Deeny (Leinster/Clontarf)
  • 6. Cian Prendergast (Connacht)(captain)
  • 7. John Hodnett (Munster/UCC)
  • 8. James Culhane (Leinster/UCD)


  • 16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Connacht/Corinthians)
  • 17. Josh Wycherley (Munster/Young Munster)
  • 18. Sam Illo (Connacht/Buccaneers)
  • 19. Tom Ahern (Munster/Shannon)
  • 20. David McCann (Ulster/Banbridge)
  • 21. Ben Murphy (Leinster/Clontarf)
  • 22. Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)
  • 23. Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Constitution)

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