The Ireland coaching group have named Tadhg Furlong to captain Ireland as they take on Fiji at the Aviva Stadium in the Bank of Ireland Nations Series on Saturday afternoon (Kick-off 1pm, live on Virgin Media and Amazon Prime).

Furlong is the 109th player to captain Ireland as he makes his 62nd Test appearance in green. While Furlong is not the first prop to captain his country, the last one to do so was Simon Best against Argentina in 2007.

Johnny Sexton first captained Ireland against Russia at RWC19 in Japan and was then made permanent captain following Andy Farrell‘s appointment as Ireland head coach and Rory Best’s retirement.

Since taking over as Head Coach, Farrell has facilitated opportunities for the leadership group to wear the captain’s armband with James Ryan first captaining the side against England in 2020 and on three other subsequent occasions, while Iain Henderson led the group against France in 2021.

There are five players in the starting side to face Fiji that started games against the Māori All Blacks during the Summer Tour of New Zealand –  Jimmy O’Brien, Stuart McCloskey, Jeremy Loughman, Kieran Treadwell and Nick Timoney.

Tom O’Toole, Cian Prendergast and Craig Casey, who are amongst the replacements for Saturday’s game, also started matches in the Māori Series.

There are three uncapped players in the Match Day Squad – Loughman, who starts at loosehead prop, Prendergast who is covering lock and Jack Crowley, who is cover out-half.

All three featured for Ireland ‘A’ against the All Blacks XV last weekend along with Max Deegan, who is named on the bench and is line for his second cap having made his debut against Wales in February 2020.

Deegan, Prendergast and Crowley were part of the successful Emerging Ireland tour to Bloemfontein.

Ireland v Fiji

15. Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 1 cap
14. Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 3 caps
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 60 caps
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 7 caps
11. Mack Hansen (Connacht/Galway Corinthians) 7 caps
10. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 36 caps
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 21 caps
1. Jeremy Loughman (Munster/Garryowen)*
2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 29 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 61 caps CAPTAIN
4. Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 9 caps
5. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 34 caps
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 21 caps
7. Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 31 caps
 
Replacements

16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 11 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 119 caps
18. Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 3 caps
19. Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Galwegians)*
20. Max Deegan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap
21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 5 caps
22. Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)*
23. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 45 caps

*denotes uncapped player

Bank of Ireland Nations Series Fixtures

IRELAND v Fiji
Saturday 12th November, 2022, Aviva Stadium, KO 13:00
IRELAND v Australia
Saturday 19th November, 2022, Aviva Stadium, KO 20:00

The Ireland coaching team have named a 37-man squad for the upcoming Bank of Ireland Nations Series fixtures against world champions South Africa, Fiji and Australia at Aviva Stadium.An additional panel of players has been named for the Ireland ‘A’ fixture against the All Blacks XV which takes place in the RDS on Friday 4th November.Ireland will play the Springboks for the first time in six years when Jacques Nienaber’s World Cup-winning side return to Aviva Stadium on Saturday 5th November (Kick-off 5.30pm).Fiji also return to Dublin for the first time since 2017 on Saturday 12th November (Kick-off 1pm), while Ireland’s final game of the Series is against Australia on Saturday 19th November (Kick-off 8pm). Ireland last faced the Wallabies in the summer of 2018 where they secured a famous series victory.The Ireland squad will be captained byJohnny Sexton and there are six uncapped players in the squad: Ciaran Frawley, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Calvin Nash, Jimmy O’Brienand Cian Prendergast.Frawley, Loughman, McCarthy, O’Brien and Prendergast featured for the Ireland XV that played against the Maori All Blacks during the Summer Tour of New Zealand.Prendergast, McCarthy, Robert Baloucoune and Calvin Nash were also part of the Emerging Ireland squad that played against the Griquas, Pumas and Cheetahs in Bloemfontein earlier this month.The Ireland ‘A’ panel includes Tom Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Max Deegan, Jamie Osborne, Scott Penny and Roman Salanoa from the Emerging Ireland squad as well as experienced front-row forwards Dave Kilcoyne and Marty Moore.  Players in the A Panel will join the squad following Round 7 of the URC.Ireland ‘A’ take on a strong All Black XV squad on the 4th November in the RDS (Kick-off 7.45pm – tickets on General Sale via Ticketmaster.ie from Saturday 22nd October at 10am). The All Black XV squad features experienced Test players such as Damian McKenzie, TJ Perenara and Patrick Tuipulotu.There are limited tickets available for Ireland v Fiji at Aviva Stadium here.Ireland Squad – Bank of Ireland Nations Series 2022:Backs (16)Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 2 capsJoey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 35 capsCraig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 5 capsCiaran Frawley (Leinster/Skerries) uncappedJamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 20 capsMack Hansen (Connacht) 6 capsRobbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 60 capsHugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 23 capsMichael Lowry (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 capConor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 99 capsStuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 6 capsCalvin Nash (Munster/Young Munster) uncappedJimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) uncappedGarry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 44 capsJohnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 108 caps CAPTAINJacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 capsForwards (21)Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 capsFinlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 25 capsTadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 33 capsJack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 30 capsGavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 capsCaelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 20 capsTadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 60 capsDave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 7 capsCian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 118 capsRob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 28 capsJeremy Loughman (Munster/Garryowen) uncappedJoe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin) uncappedPeter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 87 capsTom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 3 capsAndrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 46 capsCian Prendergast (Connacht) uncappedJames Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 46 capsDan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 10 capsNick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 capsKieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 8 capsJosh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 43 capsIreland ‘A’ Panel:Tom Ahern (Munster/Shannon)Diarmuid Barron (Munster/Garryowen)Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians) 1 capJack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 capsMax Deegan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 capJames Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 3 capsDave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 capsMarty Moore (Ulster) 10 capsJamie Osbourne (Leinster/Naas)Scott Penny (Leinster/UCD)Roman Salanoa (Munster/Shannon)Bank of Ireland – Title Sponsor of Nations Series:The IRFU have secured Bank of Ireland as the title sponsor for Ireland’s Nations Series fixtures against South Africa, Fiji and Australia in November 2022 and the pre-World Cup fixtures in August 2023 at the Aviva Stadium against Italy (August 5th) and England (August 19th). Bank of Ireland are a long-time supporter of Irish Rugby and have sponsor partnerships with all four provinces supporting both the professional and domestic game.Kevin Potts, IRFU CEO, commented, “Bank of Ireland have built a strong connection to Irish rugby through their investment in our game over the past 20 years. Their provincial sponsorships are hugely beneficial not just to the professional game, but to the continued development of provincial club competitions and female representative teams. The arrival of the World Champions South Africa to the Aviva Stadium is a great fixture to cement this new partnership.”Speaking on the new sponsorship, Gavin Kelly, Interim CEO, Bank of Ireland said: “Bank of Ireland is a proud supporter of rugby in Ireland through our sponsorship of Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster Rugby. Today, we are delighted to further strengthen our involvement as title sponsor of the Bank of Ireland Nations Series. This new partnership with the IRFU underlines our long-term commitment to Irish rugby which is founded on the success of the provincial game and the extraordinary commitment of the players. We share the excitement of rugby fans across Ireland as we look forward to a really exciting set of matches in November against some of the world’s best teams – South Africa, Fiji, and Australia.”Bank of Ireland Nations Series and Ireland ‘A’ Fixtures:       IRELAND ‘A’ v All Blacks XVFriday 4th November, 2022, RDS, KO 19:45IRELAND v South AfricaSaturday 5th November, 2022, Aviva Stadium, KO 17:30IRELAND v FijiSaturday 12th November, 2022, Aviva Stadium, KO 13:00IRELAND v AustraliaSaturday 19th November, 2022, Aviva Stadium, KO 20:00

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