Lion leads Ireland

Triple Lions tourist Ronan O'Gara will captain a new-look Ireland side against the Barbarians. [more]

Lion leads Ireland

Triple Lions tourist Ronan O’Gara will captain a new-look Ireland side against the Barbarians.

The 2001, 2005 and 2009 Lion skippers the side in the absence of Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell.

O’Gara starts at fly-half for Tuesday night’s non-cap game at Kingsholm in Gloucester as Ireland step up their preparations for the summer tour of New Zealand.

Keith Earls is the only other Lion in the starting side, with Donncha O’Callaghan named among the replacements.

Head coach Declan Kidney has handed a whole host of fringe players the chance to impress after leaving out his entire Leinster contingent following their RaboDirect PRO12 Grand Final defeat to the Ospreys last night.

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There are first senior appearances for young wings Craig Gilroy and Simon Zebo, while Brett Wilkinson, Mike Sherry and Declan Fitzpatrick form an uncapped front row.

Second rows Dan Tuohy and Donnacha Ryan have never played together at this level while Ulster duo Darren Cave and Paddy Wallace take their provincial midfield partnership on to the big stage.

Regular starters Rory Best and Andrew Trimble are included on the bench as they bring the total number of Ulster players in the matchday 22 to nine.

Kidney will be hoping he doesn’t pick up any more injuries in the ‘friendly’ match after Stephen Ferris became the latest tour absentee after pulling out with a calf injury at the end of last week.

Lions skipper Paul O’Connell remains a serious doubt to face the All Blacks on June 9, 16 and 23 due to a knee injury, while fellow Lions Tommy Bowe and Luke Fitzgerald are both definitely unavailable for the trip south.

Ireland: Keith Earls; Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Simon Zebo; Ronan O'Gara, Conor Murray; Brett Wilkinson, Mike Sherry, Declan Fitzpatrick, Dan Tuohy, Donnacha Ryan, John Muldoon, Chris Henry, Peter O'Mahony

Replacements: Rory Best, Ronan Loughney, Donncha O'Callaghan, James Coughlan, Paul Marshall, Nevin Spence, Andrew Trimble

Barbarians: Cedric Heymans; Paul Sackey, Mike Tindall, Damien Traille, Sailosi Tagicakibau; Felipe Contepomi, Rory Lawson; Duncan Jones, Benoit August, John Afoa; Mick O’Driscoll (capt), Cornelius Van Zyl; Mamuka Gorgodze, Francois Louw, Raphael Lakafia

Replacements: Aled de Malmanche, Neemia Tialata, Pelu Taele, Akapusi Qera, Richie Rees, Stephen Donald, Isa Nacewa

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