Meanwhile centre Luke Fitzgerald has been withdrawn from the team to play New Zealand in Wellington this Saturday. Fitzgerald had been carrying an ankle injury and was named in the team on Tuesday, but his recovery was not as expected and the Ireland
management were left with no option but to withdraw him from the team for Saturday.
Fitzgerald's place in the centre has been taken by Paddy Wallace, who moves up from the bench, with Geordan Murphy named among the replacements in place of Wallace who said, "While obviously disappointed for Luke, I was delighted to get the word from that I would be starting the game. You never want to benefit from somebody else's misfortune, but playing against the All Blacks is going to be a huge challenge as they are the top team in the world and have some superb players across the park. You always want to test yourself against the best, so this weekend is going to be a big game."
"I have been playing a lot of my rugby in the centres for Ulster this season," continued Wallace, "so I don't have any concerns about being able to slot into the position with Brian (O'Driscoll). He has so much experience and is one the top players in the world, so hopefully it should be a smooth transition for us. We have had a couple of training sessions to work on systems and patterns together, so I think we have prepared quite well."