James Tracy and Kieran Treadwell to make full Ireland debuts
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 22/06/17 10:48am
James Tracy and Kieran Treadwell have been handed their first starts for Ireland in Saturday's second Test against Japan in Tokyo.
Both players came off the bench during last weekend's 50-22 victory over Japan in Shizuoka, with Treadwell making his debut, and they have been given the chance to lay down a marker ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Ulster-bound scrum-half John Cooney, who has had stints at Leinster and Connacht, is also poised to win his first cap off the bench.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt brought eight uncapped players on tour and seven of them - Andrew Porter, Dave Heffernan, James Ryan, Treadwell, Rory Scannell, Rory O'Loughlin and Jacob Stockdale - have seen game-time during the US and Japanese legs.
Now, Cooney is set to become the eighth and final member of the touring squad to make his Test debut.
Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath and Simon Zebo were the only players not considered for selection for Ireland's final game of the season.
"Dan Leavy sustained a cut and was very bruised from last weekend," said Schmidt at Ireland's team base in Tokyo.
"He is still recovering from last weekend. He will probably be okay for the weekend but we had some fresh guys who could come in and do the job.
"McGrath played 80 minutes last weekend also and caught an elbow in the eye. He should be fine as well but It's precautionary. We felt the need to look after him this week.
"The other one is Simon Zebo. He trained fully on Tuesday but today there was still fluid on his knee and he wasn't as comfortable as we would have liked at training, so we have decided to give him a rest."
Schmidt has made six changes to his starting line-up for the clash with the Brave Blossoms at Ajinomoto Stadium.
Zebo, Rory Scannell, McGrath, Niall Scannell, Quinn Roux and Leavy drop out of the starting line-up that won in Shizuoka.
Munster wing Andrew Conway shifts to full-back with Ulster flyer Stockdale, who scored on his Test debut in New Jersey, coming back into the team.
Keith Earls, who set a new Ireland record with nine tries in a season last weekend, shifts to the right wing to accommodate Stockdale.
Luke Marshall replaces Rory Scannell at inside centre and will link up with the ever-present Garry Ringrose in midfield with Kieran Marmion reinstated at scrum-half.
Tracy comes in for Niall Scannell at hooker with Cian Healy and John Ryan once again anchoring the scrum.
Leinster lock Devin Toner is set to win his 50th cap alongside Treadwell in the engine room while Leavy is replaced by Leinster team-mate Josh van der Flier at openside flanker.
Ireland: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Kieran Marmion; 1 Cian Healy, 2 James Tracy, 3 John Ryan, 4 Kieran Treadwell, 5 Devin Toner, 6 Rhys Ruddock (c), 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 James Ryan, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.