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Gilroy survives as Ireland shuffle pack

By Niall Crozier

Ulster's representation in Emerging Ireland's starting line-up for tomorrow afternoon's IRB Nations Cup date with Uruguay in Bucharest has been trimmed from five to three.

In Friday's series opener against the hopelessly outclassed Russians, the Ulster players on the pitch at kick-off were right-wing Craig Gilroy, inside-centre Stuart McCloskey, scrum-half Paul Marshall, loose-head Callum Black and hooker Niall Annett.

But with his team having chalked up 66 unanswered points before Welsh referee Ian Davies abandoned play after 45 minutes due to an electrical storm, head coach Dan McFarland has opted to give others a run against Uruguay.

His wholesale changes include naming Black and Marshall on the bench this time, while McCloskey and Annett are omitted from the 22.

That leaves Gilroy the sole Ulster survivor and even then he and Munster's Johne Murphy (captain) have swapped places. They are joined in the back three by Ulster's Michael Allen.

Ricky Lutton – tight-head in an all-new front row – is the third Ulster starter.

Emerging Ireland v Uruguay (IRB Nations Cup, Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, tomorrow 2pm): Craig Gilroy (Ulster); Johne Murphy (Munster, captain), Brendan Macken (Leinster), Eoin Griffin (Connacht), Michael Allen (Belfast (Ulster); JJ Hanrahan (Munster), Luke McGrath (Leinster); John Ryan (Munster), Bryan Byrne (Leinster), Richard Lutton (Ulster); Mick Kearney (Connacht), Billy Holland (Munster); Tommy O'Donnell (Munster), Sean Dougall (Munster), Paddy Butler (Munster). Replacements: James Tracy (Leinster), Callum Black (Ulster), David Foley (Munster), Dominic Ryan (Leinster), Paul Marshall (Ulster), Ian Keatley (Munster), Andrew Conway (Munster).

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