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Ireland to unleash uncapped fullback against Boks

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has revealed a powerful matchday squad to face South Africa in Saturday’s first Test at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

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Peter O’Mahony will captain the team as Ireland get their tour underway against the Springboks in Pretoria, while Leinster’s Jamie Osborne will win his debut cap as he is named to start at fullback.

Osborne is joined in the Ireland back three by Calvin Nash and James Lowe, as Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw start in the midfield.

There is an all-Munster halfback pairing with Craig Casey and Jack Crowley named at scrumhalf and flyhalf respectively.

In the pack, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong start in the front row, with Joe McCarthy partnering Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.

Captain O’Mahony is at blindside flank, with Josh van der Flier at openside and Caelan Doris at No.8.

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Farrell has strong options on the bench, with Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, James Ryan and Ryan Baird providing the forward reinforcements, with Conor Murray, Ciaran Frawley and Garry Ringrose completing the Ireland matchday 23.

Ireland: 15 Jamie Osborne, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Joe McCarthy, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 James Ryan, 20 Ryan Baird, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ciaran Frawley, 23 Garry Ringrose.

Date: Saturday, July 6
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.00 (16.00 UK & Irish time; 15.00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Mike Adamson (Scotland)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

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