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Ulster players handed call-ups for Boks and Irish

By Niall Crozier

Ruan Pienaar, who is on his way to Ulster, has been selected at fly-half in the Springboks side to face Wales on Saturday afternoon at the Millennium Stadium (2.30).

And Ulster’s BJ Botha will pack down on the tighthead side of a front row alongside captain John Smit and loosehead CJ van der Linde who made his final appearance as a Leinster player in Saturday night’s Magners League 17-12 play-off defeat by Ospreys.

South Africa: Frans Steyn; Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Butch James, Odwa Ndungane; Ruan Pienaar, Ricky Januarie; CJ van der Linde, John Smit (captain), BJ Botha; Danie Rossouw, Andries Bekker; Francois Louw, Dewald Potgieter, Joe van Niekerk. Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jannie du Plessis, Alistair Hargreaves, Ryan Kankowski, Meyer Bosman, Juan de Jongh, Bjorn Basso.

Meanwhile, five Ulster players are in contention for a place in the Irish side for Friday night’s Thomond Park date with the star-studded Barbarians whose panel includes Xavier Rush, the Cardiff Blues No 8 who has changed his mind about a switch to Ravenhill.

Ireland were brought up to full strength yesterday when, following their weekend exertions in the Magners League play-off, a dozen men — 11 Leinster players plus Ospreys’ Tommy Bowe — joined coach Declan Kidney and the rest of the squad in preparation for this weekend’s match in Limerick.

The 13th latecomer was Leicester Tigers’ Geordan Murphy, the reason for his delay in joining up being that he had played at Twickenham in Saturday’s pulsating Guinness Premiership final against Saracens.

With Rory Best (ankle) and Stephen Ferris (broken cheekbone) ruled out by injury, Ulster’s representation in the Irish camp is five — Tom Court, Dan Tuohy, Chris Henry, Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace — though former Ulster lock Ed O’Donoghue, who has joined Leinster, earned a call-up too when Munster’s Paul O’Connell (groin) had to pull out late last week. Henry, Tuohy and O’Donoghue are uncapped.

The loss of once-capped Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin, ruled out as a result of a knee injury he picked up in the course of Saturday night’s Magners League showdown against Ospreys, has seen Munster flanker Niall Ronan — two caps to date — drafted in to fill that vacancy.

Leinster hooker, 32-year-old John Fogarty, is Best’s replacement, which means a total of four uncapped players in the 18 forwards. The only uncapped back is Leinster’s Fergus McFadden.

Revised Ireland squad — Backs: G D'Arcy (Leinster) T Bowe (Ospreys), K Earls (Munster), S Horgan (Leinster), R Kearney (Leinster), F McFadden (Leinster), G Murphy (Leicester Tigers), B O'Driscoll (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), T O'Leary (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), J Sexton (Leinster), P Stringer (Munster), A Trimble (Ulster), P Wallace (Ulster). Forwards: T Buckley (Munster), T Court (Ulster), S Cronin (Connacht), J Flannery (Munster), J Fogarty (Leinster), J Hayes (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster), C Henry (Ulster), M Horan (Munster), S Jennings (Leinster), J Muldoon (Connacht), D O'Callaghan (Munster), M O'Driscoll (Munster), E O'Donoghue (Ulster), N Ronan (Munster), D Tuohy (Ulster, D Wallace (Munster).

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