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Sheahan Named in Ireland Starting 15

23rd November 2006 By Munster Rugby

Sheahan Named in Ireland Starting 15

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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