Earls captain Ireland Biz against Maori All Blacks

Earls captain Ireland Biz against Maori All Blacks

Full back Keith Earls, who has 34 and 97 caps, will captain Ireland against the Maori All Blacks on Tuesday, coach Andy Farrell announced on Monday.

For this meeting, scheduled in Wellington, Farrell had to make some changes to avenge the 32-17 defeat at the start of the tour in Hamilton on June 29.

Ulster player Michael Lowry will start the tour for the first time, replacing Jimmy O’Brien, who moves to fullback and left wing, thus moving Earls into the middle.

Earls replaces James Hume, who was injured in the first game against Maori. Stuart McCloskey will replace captain Bundy Aki at Hamilton, but has been retained next to Earls at center in preparation for Saturday’s Test match.

Another last-minute call-up, Niall Scannell, was the only change to the midweek squad to replace injured hooker Dave Heffernan.

The tour ends in Wellington on Saturday, with the Clover XV’s crucial third and final Test match against the All Blacks, with both selections equaling a win all round.

Ireland squad line up against the Maori All Blacks in Wellington on Tuesday : Michael Lawrie – Jordan Larmour, Keith Earls (cap), Stuart McCloskey, Jimmy O’Brien – Ciaran Frawley, Craig Casey – Gavin Coombes, Nick Timoney, Cian Prendergast – Kieran Treadwell, Joe McCarthy, Tom O’Cann, Jeremy Loughman

Subs: Rob Herring, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbury, Mack Hansen

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