Ireland squad named for South Africa test as Ulster stars miss out again

Photo showing Ireland head coach Andy Farrell
-Credit: (Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

There will be no Ulster representation in the Ireland team once more after Andy Farrell confirmed his squad for the first match in their two-game series against World champions Springboks in Pretoria on Saturday.

It is the third time in the last six games no players from the province have been named in the Irish panel. Ulster players missed out in the Six Nations games with France and Scotland and will now also sit out the first test against the Springboks.

Many had thought Cormac Izuchukwu would have been in with a shout after an impressive end to the season for Richie Murphy's men. Farrell though has opted to largely stick with the side which triumphed in the Six Nations.

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With Hugo Keenan opting to play in the Olympics for the Sevens team, Farrell has handed Leinster's Jamie Osborne his debut at full-back against the Boks. It has a big show of faith in Osborne, who has predominantly played most of his club rugby at centre. His inclusion is the big talking point in a backline that includes many familiar faces.

Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki will form a formidable centre partnership, while Calvin Nash and James Lowe will operate on the wings. Munster pair Craig Casey and Jack Crowley are the half-backs for Farrell's side.

The forward pack is unchanged from the side that beat Scotland to win the Six Nations title back in March. Peter O'Mahony captains the side from flanker, and Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris also play in the back row. Joe McCarthy and Tadhg Beirne are in the engine room behind a front row of Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong.

Ireland: Jamie Osborne; Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O'Mahony (capt), Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, James Ryan, Ryan Baird, Conor Murray, Ciarán Frawley, Garry Ringrose.

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