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Connacht prop Bealham set for Ireland debut after Healy ruled out

The Australia native will cover loosehead from the bench against Italy.

CONNACHT PROP FINLAY Bealham is set to make his Ireland debut off the bench against Italy tomorrow [KO 1.30pm].

Finlay Bealham Bealham is set to get his opportunity in Dublin tomorrow. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cian Healy has been ruled out of the Six Nations clash with a hamstring strain, meaning 24-year-old Bealham has been promoted to the bench.

Bealham is a native of Australia but joined Belfast Harlequins in 2010 after the IRFU convinced him to move to these shores. Qualifying for Ireland through one of his grandparents, the prop featured for the Ireland U20s in the 2011 Six Nations and Junior World Championship.

He signed for Connacht’s academy on the back of those performances, progressing to a senior contract with Pat Lam’s men in 2014. Bealham can play at loosehead and tighthead, but will cover the former tomorrow against the Italians.

Healy pulled up in Ireland training yesterday with a hamstring strain, with a scan on the injury confirming that he will miss tomorrow’s fixture. The 28-year-old has endured extensive injury problems in recent seasons, coming close to missing the World Cup after neck surgery.

Healy signed a new three-year central IRFU contract last month.

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