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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 5 July, 2020

Dave Foley set for Ireland debut as Schmidt looks to shuffle the deck

Darren Cave is set for a recall in the centre alongside Gordon D’Arcy.

Schmidt is set to call upon the depth of his squad against the Georgians.
Schmidt is set to call upon the depth of his squad against the Georgians.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT IS set to hand an international debut to Dave Foley when Ireland face Georgia in Dublin on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Munster man looks likely to be in the second row alongside Mike McCarthy when Schmidt announces his XV tomorrow afternoon, meaning captain Paul O’Connell and Devin Toner should get a rest after their exertions in the win over South Africa last weekend.

Similarly, out-half Johnny Sexton will be given a chance to recuperate, with Ian Madigan set to take over in the 10 shirt outside scrum-half Eoin Reddan.

An all-new centre pairing of Gordon D’Arcy and Darren Cave appear likely to combine in the midfield, despite the Ulsterman having originally been left out of Schmidt’s 37-man. Cave has been present at Ireland’s Carton House training camp this week, and understands the Kiwi coach’s systems having toured Argentina over the summer.

In the back three, Munster’s Simon Zebo is set to retain his starting spot, with Ulster’s Craig Gilroy on the other wing and Felix Jones at fullback.

The scrummaging strength of Georgia means Mike Ross is likely to retain his starting spot at tighthead, while Dave Kilcoyne and Richardt Strauss should swap in for Jack McGrath and Sean Cronin, respectively.

Tommy O’Donnell is set to start in the seven shirt after a substitute cameo against South Africa, meaning Rhys Ruddock could revert to the more familiar role of blindside flanker.

It is expected that Jamie Heaslip will continue at No. 8.

Possible Ireland XV v Georgia:

15. Felix Jones
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Darren Cave
12. Gordon D’Arcy
11. Simon Zebo
10. Ian Madigan
9. Eoin Reddan

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Mike Ross
4. Dave Foley
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. Jamie Heaslip

Originally published at 19.00

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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