Thu 8 Jul 2021 | 02:49

Ireland v USA - Teams and Predictions

Ireland v USA - Teams and Predictions
Thu 8 Jul 2021 | 02:49
Ireland v USA - Teams and Predictions

NEW FACES: There are eight uncapped players in Ireland’s matchday 23 to face the USA in Dublin on Saturday.


The Irish are coming off a 39-31 win over Japan and head coach Andy Farrell has decided to bring in a number of new faces.

There are four uncapped players (Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Tom O’Toole and Nick Timoney) in the starting XV and another four (Fineen Wycherley, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade and Harry Byrne) on the bench.

In total, Farrell has made eight changes to the starting XV that beat Japan.

James Ryan wears the captain’s armband and is partnered in the second row by Ryan Baird who makes his first start for Ireland.

In the back row, Caelan Doris switches to the blindside flank to accommodate Gavin Coombes at No.8 with the uncapped Nick Timoney lining out at openside.

In the front row, Tom O’Toole is set to make his international debut alongside Ronan Kelleher and Dave Kilcoyne.


Craig Casey will make his first start for Ireland and will partner his provincial colleague Joey Carbery at halfback.

Stuart McCloskey retains the inside centre berth and is joined by fellow Ulsterman debutant James Hume.

Hugo Keenan starts his 13th consecutive game for Ireland and is supported in the backfield by Andrew Conway and the uncapped Robert Baloucoune.

The replacements include Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Will Addison and the uncapped quartet Fineen Wycherley, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade and Harry Byrne.

Meanwhile, USA head coach Gary Gold has made four changes to the starting XV with three new faces on the bench.

Bryce Campbell will serve as captain following an impressive performance against England last week at Twickenham.

The USA struggled in the first half, coming back for a thrilling second-half performance that saw them outscore their British counterparts 26-17 for a final score of 43-29.

“I’m proud of the guys for the fight they showed against England last week but obviously we have a new and difficult task ahead with Ireland,” said Gold.

“While we did some very good things last week, it’s important that we improve on those and eradicate the silly errors that allowed us to give away soft tries. We need to keep building on our basics and enjoy the opportunity to learn from teams who play in this environment regularly.

“Luke and Christian did themselves proud last week, as did the rest of the boys. It was a great occasion for them and they showed the carefree exuberance of youth. We hope to see them build on that energy this weekend with a focus on improving.”


@rugby35com: Ireland by 35 points.


Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Robert Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Andrew Conway, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan (captain), 4 Ryan Baird, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Harry Byrne, 23 Will Addison.

USA: 15 Mike Te’o, 14 Christian Dyer, 13 Calvin Whiting, 12 Bryce Campbell (captain), 11 Mika Kruse, 10 Luke Carty, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Cam Dolan, 7 Riekert Hattingh, 6 Hanco Germishuys, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Gregory Peterson, 3 Paul Mullen, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 1 David Ainu’u
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Matt Harmon, 18 Dino Waldren, 19 Nate Brakeley, 20 Psalm Wooching, 21 Andrew Guerra, 22 Michael Baska, 23 Will Magie.

Date: Saturday, July 10
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 19.15 (14.15 EDT-USA; 18.15 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

PV: 17