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Henry can launch bid to stake claim for World Cup place

By Robert Jones

Ulster's Chris Henry, fully recovered from a mini-stroke eight months ago, will be given his chance to stake a claim for an Ireland Rugby World Cup place with promotion to the starting line-up in Saturday's warm-up against Scotland in Dublin.

Kingspan team-mates Tommy Bowe, Rory Best, Jared Payne and Dan Tuohy are also expected to figure when coach Joe Schmidt names his team at 1.50pm today.

Schmidt looks set to hand 23-year-old Leinster back-row Jack Conan his first Ireland cap. Although normally a No8, Schmidt may deploy Conan on the blindside, with Sean O'Brien at the base of the scrum and Chris Henry expected to play at openside.

Dan Tuohy could partner Devin Toner in the second-row as the Six Nations heroes are re-introduced to the team, while Dave Kilcoyne, Rory Best and Mike Ross may combine in the front-row with Sean Cronin set to return from his shoulder surgery off the bench.

The uncapped Nathan White may have some involvement given he wasn't released along with Kieran Marmion to join up with Connacht for their pre-season game against Castres, but Marty Moore could also feature after returning to training.

Behind the scrum, Leinster's Madigan is the favourite to play at out-half, partnering Isaac Boss, with D'Arcy getting his opportunity to stake a claim in the No12 shirt alongside Jared Payne.

In the back three, Luke Fitzgerald could make his return on the wing, with Tommy Bowe also set for his seasonal bow.


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