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Murphy chosen to lead Ireland

Long-serving full-back Geordan Murphy will captain Ireland against New Zealand Maori in the centenary fixture at Rotorua International Stadium on Friday evening.

It is the first time Murphy, who won his 67th Ireland cap when he came on as a substitute in Saturday's defeat by New Zealand, has led the side.

Among other changes, uncapped Rhys Ruddock – drafted in from the Irish Under 20s side currently in Argentina – will play on the blindside of the scrum alongside Niall Ronan and Ulster’s Chris Henry, who will play at number eight.

Henry, too, is uncapped.

A new front-row combination sees Munster veteran Marcus Horan and Ulster loose head Tom Court propping the scrum on either side of hooker John Fogarty.

Last year’s Ulster second row pair, Dan Tuohy and Leinster-bound Ed O’Donoghue, play as a duo.

Shane Horgan will play on the right wing with Gavin Duffy and Ulster’s Paddy Wallace paired in the centres and Johne Murphy on the left wing.

The all-Leinster half-back combination will see Eoin Reddan at scrum-half and Jonathan Sexton at fly-half.

Ireland team to face New Zealand Maori on Friday: G Murphy (captain); S Horgan, G Duffy, P Wallace, J Murphy; J Sexton, E Reddan; M Horan, J Fogarty, T Court, E O'Donoghue, D Tuohy, R Ruddock, N Ronan, C Henry.

Replacements: S Cronin, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, D Wallace, P Stringer, R O'Gara, R Kearney.

Belfast Telegraph


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