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Hanrahan and McGrath start as Emerging Ireland ring the changes

Head coach Dan McFarland has included 20-year-old hooker Bryan Byrne in his starting team to face Uruguay.

Craig Gilroy moves to fullback after scoring two tries on the right wing against Russia.
Craig Gilroy moves to fullback after scoring two tries on the right wing against Russia.
Image: FFR.RO/INPHO

JJ HANRAHAN AND Luke McGrath will make up the halfback pairing for Emerging Ireland’s clash with Uruguay at the IRB Nations Cup on Wednesday [KO 2.00pm Irish time].

The Munster out-half and Leinster scrum-half are among the 10 personnel changes head coach Dan McFarland has made to the side that beat Russia 66-0 in just 45 minutes of play on Friday.

Emerging Ireland ran in 10 tries in that game – their first in the Bucharest-based tournament – before an electrical storm forced referee Ian Davies to abandon the encounter.

Ahead of the clash with Uruguay, McFarland and assistant coach Neil Doak have opted for an entirely new front row in John Ryan, Ricky Lutton and promising 20-year-old Leinster hooker Bryan Byrne.

In the second row, Billy Holland replaces Munster teammate Dave Foley, while Sean Dougall and Paddy Butler join Tommy O’Donnell in the back row, with the latter shifting across to the blindside.

The Emerging Ireland team line up McFarland's men destroyed Russia in their first game at the Nations Cup. Source: FFR.RO/INPHO

Hanrahan and McGrath are at 9 and 10, with Leinster’s Brendan Macken coming into the XV at outside centre, meaning Eoin Griffin slides in one place to wear the 12 shirt.

In the back three, Craig Gilroy and Johne Murphy swap positions, with the Ulster flyer at fullback, while Michael Allen replaces Andrew Conway on the left wing. Munster man Murphy has been named as captain.

Emerging Ireland team to face Uruguay on Wednesday [KO 2.00pm Irish time]:

15- Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster)
14- Johne Murphy (Young Munster/Munster) (Captain)
13- Brendan Macken (Blackrock College/Leinster)
12- Eoin Griffin (Galwegians/Connacht)
11- Michael Allen (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
10 – JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster)
9- Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster)
1- John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
2- Bryan Byrne (Clontarf/Leinster)
3- Ricky Lutton (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
4- Mick Kearney (Clontarf/Connacht)
5- Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6- Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
7- Sean Dougall (Dolphin/Munster)
8- Paddy Butler (Shannon/Munster)

Replacements:
16- James Tracy (UCD/Leinster)
17- Callum Black (Malone/Ulster)
18- David Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster)
19- Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
20- Paul Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
21- Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
22- Andrew Conway (Blackrock College/Munster)

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Murray Kinsella

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