Planet Rugby

Preview: Ireland v Barbarians

26th May 2008 16:35

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Luke Fitzgerald try Leinster v Toulouse 2008

Centre start: Fitzgerald starts alongside BOD

Ireland and the Barbarians have named their line-ups for the clash at Kingsholm on Tuesday - with just retired Jerry Collins pencilled in as a possible starter.

Brian O'Driscoll leads an understrength Irish XV drawn largely from Leinster and Ulster players, with most interest surrounding his new centre partnership alongside the highly-rated Luke Fitzgerald.

Coach Michael Bradley, in charge for the Barbarians game and senior tour before Munster boss Declan Kidney takes up his appointment as Eddie O'Sullivan's successor, can call on the experience of players like O'Driscoll, wing Shane Horgan and lock Malcolm O'Kelly.

But there is also a chance for players who will spearhead Ireland A's Churchill Cup challenge in the USA and Canada next month.

Australian centre Morgan Turinui leads the Barbarians, with former Wallaby fly-half Stephen Larkham wearing the number ten shirt and Gloucester's England wing Lesley Vainikolo also starting.

And there could be a surprise place on the bench for All Black flank Collins.

The Hurricanes forward, who is likely to start next Sunday's Twickenham encounter between England and the Barbarians, called time on his playing career in New Zealand on Monday.

The 27-year-old has been given an early release from his New Zealand Rugby Union contract and will take a break from the game before considering his future.

Form: The Baa-baas three-match tour kicked-off with a resounding 84-10 victory over a Belgium XV in Brussels last Saturday. Meanwhile, Ireland enter the game on the back of disappointing World Cup and Six Nations tournaments that ultimately led to Eddie O'Sullivan's departure. But with a fresh approach from part-time boss Bradley and Declan Kidney waiting in the wings, could this be the start of an Irish revolution?

The teams:

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (capt), 12 Luke Fitzgerald,11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Wallace, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Mal O'Kelly, 4 Bob Casey, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Bryan Young.

Replacements: 16 Bernard Jackman, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ryan Caldwell, 19 Neil Best, 20 Frank Murphy, 21 Jonny Sexton, 22 Girvan Dempsey.

Barbarians: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Soseni Anesi, 13 Morgan Turinui (capt), 12 Jaco Pretorius, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 David Croft, 6 Craig Newby, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Kris Chesney, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Ollie le Roux.

Replacements: 16 Mark Regan, 17 Patrice Collazo, 18 Santiago Dellape, 19 Mitchell Chapman / Jerry Collins, 20 Andy Gomarsall, 21 Glen Jackson, 22 Tyrone Smith / Seilala Mapusua.

Date: Tuesday May 27

Kick-off: 19:45 BST (20:45 GMT)

Venue: Kingsholm

Referee: Andrew Small (England)

Touch judges: Chris White and Tony Spreadbury (both England)

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