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Aki captains Ireland against Māori as Frawley starts at out-half

Andy Farrell has named an exciting team for Wednesday’s clash in Hamilton.

Bundee Aki captains the Ireland team.
Bundee Aki captains the Ireland team.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Updated Jun 28th 2022, 8:30 AM

BUNDEE AKI HAS been named captain for Ireland’s game against the Māori All Blacks on Wednesday [KO 8.05am Irish time, Sky Sports].

The Connacht centre will lead Andy Farrell’s team in the non-capped match in Hamilton just three days before the first Test against New Zealand.

Keith Earls also features on the left wing against the Māori, with Jordan Larmour on the right.

Meanwhile, Leinster’s Ciarán Frawley starts at out-half. It’s understood that his provincial team-mate, Harry Byrne, was ruled out due to a hamstring issue, with Joey Carbery providing out-half back-up from the bench.

Frawley is one of five uncapped players who feature in the Ireland team, with fullback Jimmy O’Brien, back row Cian Prendergast, loosehead prop Jeremy Loughman, and second row Joe McCarthy also starting.

O’Brien makes up the back three with Jordan Larmour and Earls. The involvement of both Earls and Larmour is something of a surprise given that one of them was expected to start the first Test against the All Blacks after Mack Hansen’s positive Covid-19 test result.

James Hume and Aki will pair up in an impactful Irish midfield for Wednesday’s game, while Frawley partners Craig Casey in the halfbacks.

Loughman, Dave Heffernan, and Tom O’Toole form the front row, McCarthy combines with Kieran Treadwell in the second row, and Prendergast teams up with Nick Timoney and Gavin Coombes in the back row.

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The Irish bench includes Niall Scannell, who only arrived in New Zealand today as cover for Rob Herring, who picked up an injury in training. Jack Conan covers the back row, while Ulster’s Mike Lowry is in the number 23 shirt.

Ireland (v Māori All Blacks):

  • 15. Jimmy O’Brien
  • 14. Jordan Larmour
  • 13. James Hume
  • 12. Bundee Aki (captain)
  • 11. Keith Earls
  • 10. Ciarán Frawley
  • 9. Craig Casey
  • 1. Jeremy Loughman
  • 2. Dave Heffernan
  • 3. Tom O’Toole
  • 4. Kieran Treadwell
  • 5. Joe McCarthy
  • 6. Cian Prendergast
  • 7. Nick Timoney
  • 8. Gavin Coombes

Replacements:

  • 16. Niall Scannell
  • 17. Cian Healy
  • 18. Finlay Bealham
  • 19. Ryan Baird
  • 20. Jack Conan
  • 21. Conor Murray
  • 22. Joey Carbery
  • 23. Mike Lowry

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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