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Experimental Ireland up for clash

Fergus McFadden insists Ireland's second string are desperate to make their presence felt in Saturday's showdown with Fiji.

The Irish have selected an experimental side for the non-cap international at Thomond Park with only Jamie Heaslip, Conor Murray and Mike Ross surviving last weekend's defeat by South Africa. Instead, the likes of uncapped Ulster trio Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy and Paddy Jackson have been given a chance to impress the management.

"They'll be physically opposing, but we'll be up for it because a lot of our lads didn't get that much game time last week," said Leinster winger McFadden. "We'll be looking to come out of the blocks fast and impose our gameplan on them."

He added: "We want to put some structure on the game. Fiji feed off scraps and thrive on loose ball."

McFadden is the most experienced member of Ireland's backline with 15 caps and he is excited by the prospect of linking up with the new arrivals.

"I've played with Darren Cave all the way through under-age, I've known him for years," he said. "Luke has slotted in very well and Paddy Jackson has an old head on young shoulders. Those lads are very promising, hopefully they'll go well."

Due to the non-cap status of Saturday's clash in Limerick, Ireland have been denied the chance to end their five-Test losing sequence. They succumbed 16-12 to South Africa last Saturday in a match they should have won and conclude their autumn against Argentina in eight days.

"The mood's been great, we've been flying, but getting pipped by South Africa was a disappointment," McFadden said.

Ireland team to face Fiji at Thomond Park, Limerick, on Saturday November 17, 5.30pm kick-off: D Hurley (Munster); F McFadden (Leinster), D Cave (Ulster) L Marshall (Ulster), C Gilroy (Ulster); P Jackson (Ulster), C Murray (Munster); D Kilcoyne (Munster), S Cronin (Leinster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), D Tuohy (Ulster), I Henderson (Ulster), J Muldoon (Connacht), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt).

Replacements: R Strauss (Leinster), C Healy (Leinster), M Bent (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), C Henry (Ulster), P Marshall (Ulster), J Sexton (Leinster) S Zebo (Munster).

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