Duffy and co looking to star for Wolfhounds

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 Jan 2011

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Gavin Duffy will be among those hoping to press their claims for a Six Nations spot when Ireland Wolfhounds take on Scotland A on Friday.

Connacht’s Gavin Duffy will start at full back for Ireland’s second string as head coach Declan Kidney looks to find a replacement for Rob Kearney and Geordan Murphy who are both set to miss the entire tournament through injury.

A strong performance from Duffy at Netherdale would put pressure on Leinster’s Luke Fitzgerald and Munster’s Keith Earls, the two other contenders for the full back slot ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations opener in Italy.

Having been dropped from the senior squad in favour of Peter Stringer and Eoin Reddan, Munster scrum-half Tomas O’Leary will be hoping to prove Kidney wrong when he starts for the Wolfhounds.

Originally selected for the 2009 Lions tour, injury ruled him out of representing Britain and Ireland’s elite and O’Leary hasn’t quite hit the same heights since then.

It’s a similar scenario for clubmate Tony Buckley after the prop wasn’t named in the senior squad despite starting three of the four November internationals.

Magners League leaders Munster contribute six players to the starting side, with Buckley and O’Leary joined by Johne Murphy, Denis Hurley, Damien Varley and Ian Nagle.

There are four Ulstermen in the Wolfhounds XV in Nevin Spence, Ian Humphreys, Willie Faloon and Chris Henry, while last season’s Magners Grand Finalists Leinster provide three players in Eoin O'Malley Devin Toner and Kevin McLaughlin and Connacht are represented by Duffy and Brett Wilkinson.

Ireland Wolfhounds (vs Scotland A)

15 Gavin Duffy (Connacht)
14 Johne Murphy (Munster)
13 Eoin O'Malley (Leinster)
12 Nevin Spence (Ulster)
11 Denis Hurley (Munster)
10 Ian Humphreys (Ulster)
9 Tomás O’Leary (Munster)

1 Brett Wilkinson (Connacht)
2 Damien Varley (Munster)
3 Tony Buckley (Munster)
4 Ian Nagle (Munster)
5 Devin Toner (Leinster)
6 Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster)
7 Willie Faloon (Ulster)
8 Chris Henry (Ulster)

Replacements

16 Nigel Brady (Ulster)
17 Jamie Hagan (Connacht)
18 Andrew Browne (Connacht)
19 Dominic Ryan (Leinster)
20 Isaac Boss (Leinster)
21 Niall O'Connor (Ulster)
22 Ian Whitten (Ulster)