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Ryan captains Emerging Ireland side with 5 internationals for meeting with Russia

Craig Gilroy and Tommy O’Donnell will be among those hoping to play their way into the senior international side.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

NEIL DOAK AND Dan McFarland have been able to name five full internationals in their Emerging Ireland selection to face Russia in Bucharest on Friday (2pm Irish time).

Leinster’s Dominic Ryan captains the side from blindside flanker with Tommy O’Donnell named at openside, Michael Bent at tight-head prop, Craig Gilroy on the wing, while Ian Keatley and Paul Marshall are named as the half-backs.

Munster’s freshly-recruited number eight Robin Copeland starts in a powerful looking back row. Former under 20 captain Niall Annett starts at hooker ahead of the second row combination of Dave Foley and Mick Kearney.

Johne Murphy is the most experienced player of the starting group at fullback behind the centre combination of Eoin Griffin and Stuart McCloskey.

There are no caps among the seven replacements, but plenty of promise with JJ Hanrahan, Brendan Macken and Sean Dougall tasked with making an impact from the bench.

Emerging Ireland (v Russia): J Murphy; C Gilroy, E Griffin, S McCloskey, A Conway; I Keatley, P Marshall: C Black, N Annett, M Bent; M Kearney, D Foley; D Ryan (Capt.), T O’Donnell, R Copeland.

Replacements:  J Tracy, J Ryan, B Holland, S Dougall, L McGrath, JJ Hanrahan, B Macken.

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Sean Farrell

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