The Emerging Ireland coaching ticket of Allen Clarke and Girvan Dempsey have named the side that will take on Emerging Italy in the group’s opening fixture of the World Rugby Tbilisi Cup this Saturday.

There were two late call-ups to the Emerging Ireland squad this week with Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) replacing Eoin McKeon (Corinthians/Connacht) and Andrew Browne (Galwegians/Connacht) replacing Lewis Stevenson (Malone/Ulster).

Conan starts at No.8 and is joined in the back-row by squad captain Rhys Ruddock at blindside with Dan Leavy at openside. The second-row is made up of Ben Marshall and Billy Holland while the front-row consists of Denis Buckley, Rob Herring and Stephen Archer.

Luke McGrath partners JJ Hanrahan at half-back with Stuart McCloskey and Eoin Griffin paired in midfield. The back-three consists of Andrew Conway and Matt Healy on the wings with Tiernan O’Halloran at fullback.

The replacements bench consists of Dave Heffernan, Andy Warwick, Finlay Bealham, Andrew Browne, Eoghan Masterson, John Cooney, Rory Scannell and Peter Nelson.

Emerging Ireland Coach, Allen Clarke commented, “In the short period we have been together we have had a very positive response from the players. The game against Emerging Italy provides an opportunity for these players to illustrate to us how well they have prepared and their ability to cope within this challenging environment.”

Emerging Ireland will face off against Uruguay in their second game of the tournament on Wednesday 17th June before taking on the hosts Georgia in their final game on Sunday 21st June. Both Uruguay and Georgia will compete in this year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

Emerging Ireland Squad to play Emerging Italy
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia KO 17:00 / 14:00 GMT

15. Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht)
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster)
13. Eoin Griffin (London Irish)
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11. Matt Healy (Lansdowne/Connacht)
10. JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster)
9. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster)

1. Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht)
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
3. Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster)
4. Ben Marshall (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
5. Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) captain
7. Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster)
8. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Replacements:
16. Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht)
17. Andy Warwick (Ballymena/Ulster)
18. Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)
19. Andrew Browne (Galwegians /Connacht)
20. Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht)
21. John Cooney (Terenure/Connacht)
22. Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster)
23. Peter Nelson (Malone/Ulster)

Emerging Ireland Team Management
Allen Clarke Coach
Girvan Dempsey Assistant Coach
Joey Miles Manager
Jim McShane Team Doctor
Karl Denvir Physio
Sean Mannion Team Analyst
Aidan O’Connell S&C Coach
Johnny O’Hagan Baggage Man
Carmel O’Dwyer Squad Coordinator

Emerging Ireland Fixtures

Emerging Italy v EMERGING IRELAND
Saturday 13th June 17:00 (14:00 GMT)

Uruguay v EMERGING IRELAND
Wednesday 17th June 17:00 (14:00 GMT)

Georgia v EMERGING IRELAND
Sunday 21st June 19:00 (16:00 GMT)

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