Kidney hands debut to 21 year old Earls

Ireland coach Declan Kidney will test 21-year-old Keith Earls credentials at fullback when he takes charge for the first time Saturday against Canada.

Rob Kearney has been moved to the left wing to accommodate the Munster star, who is the only newcomer in Kidney’s starting lineup for the Thomond Park match.

Earls will be joined by Tommy Bowe and Robert Kearney in the back three.

Captain Brian O’Driscoll has recovered from a knee ligament injury and will be partnered by Luke Fitzgerald in the center for the first time.

Munster front rowers Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery and Tony Buckley will start an international together for the first time.

The seven replacements will be confirmed Thursday by Kidney.

Ireland (15-1)

Keith Earls (Munster); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster, capt); Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster), Robert Kearney (Leinster); Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Wasps/ENG); Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Shane Jennings (Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster); Paul O’Connell (Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster); Tony Buckley (Munster), Jerry Flannery (Munster), Marcus Horan (Munster)

Replacements to be selected from the following eight:

Rory Best (Ulster), John Hayes (Munster), Ryan Caldwell (Ulster), Alan Quinlan (Munster), David Wallace (Munster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster), Peter Stringer (Munster), Shane Horgan (Leinster)

Sapa-AFP –

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