Ireland make 13 changes for Georgia

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Published: Friday 14th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Dave Foley and Dominic Ryan will make their Test debuts against Georgia on Sunday in an Ireland team showing 13 changes from last weekend’s victory over South Africa.

Munster’s Robin Copeland will win his first cap if he joins the Dublin fray from the bench, while fit-again Gordon D’Arcy returns at centre.

The highly-experienced D’Arcy will partner Ulster’s Darren Cave in midfield, with Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne both rested.

Payne is still battling his suspected foot sprain, but he would not have featured in any case if fit.

Only tighthead prop Mike Ross and wing Simon Zebo have been retained in the starting XV from last Saturday’s 29-15 victory over the Springboks.

Cave has fallen behind Payne in the Ulster pecking order, with the former New Zealand Under-21 cap preferred this term at outside centre.

Cave decried his lack of Ireland chances in 2013, claiming his “face doesn’t fit”, while head coach Joe Schmidt hotly refuted influencing provincial selection earlier this term when Payne was switched from full-back to 13.

Munster lock Foley slots in alongside Leinster’s Mike McCarthy at lock, with captain Paul O’Connell rested and Devin Toner on the bench.

The 26-year-old Foley has six caps for Emerging Ireland, after making his senior Munster debut in 2010.

Leinster’s 24-year-old flanker Ryan starts at six despite being a more natural openside, partnering Tommy O’Donnell and Robbie Diack in an all-new back-row combination.

Eoin Reddan will captain the side for the first time from scrum-half, with Leinster club-mate Ian Madigan at 10.

Munster playmaker Ian Keatley covers fly-half from the bench, with Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray among the multitude not pressed into service.

Published: Friday 14th November 2014 by The News Editor

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