Kidney’s taking no chances with the Canadians
Ulster's Isaac Boss leads Ireland ‘A' into today’s opening game of their 2009 Churchill Cup campaign.
It is a sign of how seriously the Irish — who face Canada in Colorado — are taking the event that Declan Kidney and his senior coaches are there.
The match is the third fixture between the countries in seven months, Kidney’s Irish seniors having beaten the Canadians 55-0 in Limerick in November, followed by a recent 25-6 summer tour win in Vancouver.
Boss is one of only two members in the back line who has been capped, full-back Denis Hurley being the other.
The Ballymena pivot is partnered at half-back by fellow-Ulsterman, Belfast Harlequins’ Niall O’Connor.
The pack includes two of Boss’s Ulster and Ballymena colleagues, loose head Bryan Young, and No. 8 Chris Henry, while Neil Best, now with Northampton, plays on the blind side.
Kick-off at Infinity Park, Glendale is 11.30pm (BST).
IRELAND TEAM: Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution/Munster); Fionn Carr (Galwegians/Connacht), Fergus McFadden (UCD/Leinster), Keith Matthews (Buccaneers/Connacht), John Murphy (Leicester Tigers); Niall O'Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster) (capt); Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster), Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht), Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster); Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster); Neil Best (Northampton Saints), Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster), Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster).
Replacements: Denis Fogarty (Cork Constitution/Munster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Trevor Hogan (Blackrock College/Leinster), John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht), Frank Murphy (Buccaneers/Connacht), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster), James Downey (Northampton Saints).