Treadwell set to make his bow from bench
Young Ulster lock Kieran Treadwell looks set to be the second player from the province to make his Ireland debut this summer after he was named on the bench for the Test against Japan in the Ecopa Stadium.
His club-mate Jacob Stockdale made a try-scoring bow on the international stage against the US Eagles last week and, with the tour having moved some 14 hours worth of air-miles westwards, the Sutton-born 21-year-old now looks set to get his big chance tomorrow morning (6.00am kick-off).
Head coach Joe Schmidt had already established that a place in the touring party, already depleted by the Irish involvement with the Lions, was no guarantee of game-time, so the former Harlequins man will be thrilled to learn that it looks as if his fine second half of the season at Kingspan Stadium will be rewarded.
With Connacht's Quinn Roux and Leinster's Devin Toner starting in the second-row, Treadwell takes the place of James Ryan among the replacements after the 20-year old scored a try within 60 seconds of being introduced against the USA last week.
Ryan's fellow former under-20 stand-out Stockdale will not be involved this time around either, while the other Ulsterman on show in New Jersey, Luke Marshall, has missed out with a foot injury.
There is, however, a recall for Paddy Jackson.
The out-half did not travel to the US due to what the IRFU cited as personal reasons, but he comes straight into the No.10 jersey after last week's starter Joey Carbery picked up an injury.
Taking on their 2019 World Cup pool opponents in the host country is sure to have a use for Schmidt beyond the expanding of his player base, but in terms of logistics this week, he admitted that the adjustment in changing time zones once again has hampered preparation.
"Preparations have been brief, pretty brief," he said. "It wasn't perfect but hopefully we will be a little more cohesive by the time we kick off on Saturday.
"Trying to acclimatise has been very difficult. We did have the advantage of playing in very hot temperatures in New Jersey last weekend but we left on Sunday morning and by the time we arrived here it was Monday night.
"You are very jumbled from the different time zones, so that has taken a toll, but it certainly won't be considered anything other than an imposition in the early part of the week, and by the end of the week we have to make sure we are ready to go."
Ireland: S Zebo; A Conway, G Ringrose, R Scannell, K Earls; P Jackson, L McGrath; C Healy, N Scannell, J Ryan; Q Roux, D Toner; R Ruddock (capt), D Leavy, J Conan.
Replacements: J Tracy, D Kilcoyne, F Bealham, K Treadwell, J O'Donoghue, K Marmion, R O'Loughlin, T O'Halloran.