Frankie Sheahan Ireland
INPHO/Billy Stickland
Sheahan Named in Ireland Starting 15
11 November 2006, 3:52 pm
There are nine changes to the Ireland team that will play the Pacific Islanders in the Guinness Autumn series this Sunday from the side that started against Australia last weekend. Included in the starting line up is Frankie Sheahan who replaces Rory Best.
Among these changes, Irish Coach Eddie O'Sullivan has given first caps to forwards Stephen Ferris and Jamie Heaslip in the backrow as well as a first start to 19 year old Leinster back Luke Fitzgerald, who will become the youngest player to play for Ireland since Alistair McKibbin against Wales in 1977.

The other changes to the starting team see four personnel changes in the backs. Girvan Dempsey moves into fullback in place of Geordan Murphy and Shane Horgan switches to centre from his right wing in place of Gordon D'Arcy, with the uncapped Fitzgerald lining up on Horgan's wing. Paddy Wallace makes his first start for Ireland at outhalf as he swaps his spot in the replacements with Ronan O'Gara. The final change in the backline is the return of the 71 times capped Peter Stringer at scrumhalf instead of Isaac Boss.

In the forwards, Frankie Sheahan has been named at hooker and Malcolm O'Kelly makes his first start for Ireland since last seasons RBS Six Nations Championship. The backrow unit has been totally changed, with Simon Easterby leading in the experience stakes ahead of the uncapped duo of Heaslip at No.8 and Ferris at openside flanker. The team will be captained by Brian O'Driscoll for the 33rd time in winning his 70th cap.

The Ireland team to play the Pacific Islanders in the Guinness Autumn Series in Lansdowne Road on Sunday 26th November 2006 at 14.45hrs is as follows:

Player Club Caps

15 - Girvan Dempsey Terenure College/Leinster

14 - Luke Fitzgerald Blackrock College/Leinster

13 - Brian O'Driscoll (Captain) Blackrock College/Leinster

12 - Shane Horgan Lansdowne/Leinster

11 - Denis Hickie St.Mary's College/Leinster

10 - Paddy Wallace Ballymena/Ulster

9 - Peter Stringer Shannon/Munster

1 - Bryan Young Ballymena/Ulster

2 - Frankie Sheahan Cork Constitution/Munster

3 - John Hayes Bruff/Munster

4 - Malcolm O'Kelly St.Mary's College/Leinster

5 - Paul O'Connell Young Munster/Munster

6 - Simon Easterby Llanelli

7 - Stephen Ferris Dungannon/Ulster

8 - Jamie Heaslip Clontarf/Leinster


16 - Rory Best Belfast Harlequins/Ulster

17 - Simon Best Belfast Harlequins/Ulster

18 - Donncha O'Callaghan Cork Constitution/Munster

19 - Denis Leamy Cork Constitution/Munster

20 - Isaac Boss Ballymena/Ulster

21 - Ronan O'Gara Cork Constitution/Munster

22 - Gordon D'Arcy Lansdowne/Leinster

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