Ireland include plenty of new faces in team to face Maori All Blacks
Ireland have never beaten the Maori All Blacks, in their rugby history.
Andy Farrell has named all five of his recent uncapped Ireland tour squad selections in the starting XV for their opening game, against the Maori All Blacks.
Bundee Aki is named as captain and starts in the centre with Ulster's James Hume. Ciarán Frawley starts at 10 while Jimmy O'Brien is fullback for Wednesday's game in Hamilton.
The Ireland squad was hit by the positive Covid case for Mack Hansen, which has seen the Connacht winger forced to isolate for the next few days. There have also been injuries, in training, to Rob Herring and Iain Henderson, with Munster hooker Niall Scannell arriving out as cover.
The Maori All Blacks team was named on Monday, in New Zealand, with Brad Weber leading the side and co-captain TJ Perenara on the bench:
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 26, 2022
Even spread across the provinces
There should be enough across the starting XV to keep fans of the rival provinces content - four apiece for Leinster, Munster and Ulster, with Connacht having three representatives.
Keith Earls, with his 96 Test caps, is a vastly experienced bench inclusion for Ireland. On the bench, the same can be said for Cian Healy (116 caps) and Conor Murray (96).
Scannell, who just landed in New Zealand on Tuesday morning [local time], arrived to find he would be on the bench the next day for the match.
IRELAND TEAM TO FACE MAORI ALL BLACKS
15. Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) uncapped
14. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps
13. James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 3 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 37 caps captain
11. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 96 caps
10. Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/Skerries) uncapped
9. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 5 caps
1. Jeremy Loughman (Munster/Garryowen) uncapped
2. Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 6 caps
3. Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 2 caps
4. Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin) uncapped
5. Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 5 caps
6. Cian Prendergast (Connacht) uncapped
7. Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps
8. Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
REPLACEMENTS: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Mike Lowry.
The game takes place from 8:05am, Wednesday, at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. In their two previous meetings with the Maori All Blacks, Ireland have twice come out the losing side.