Ireland coach Eddie O’ Sullivan has named young Paddy Wallace in his match 22 to play South Africa next week.
The Ulster utility back, who can slot in at either centre or flyhalf has deservedly earned a spot in the national side after some good performances for his club in the European Cup. He is one of six Ulstermen who will face the Springboks on 11 November at Landsdowne Road, and is likely to play understudy to the in-form Ronan O’Gara.
Except for hooker Jerry Flannery, who is out with injury, the line-up that won the Triple Crown are all included in the squad of 22. O’Sullivan expects this match to be a big challenge, as well as an indicator of how much more work needs to be done ahead of the all-important tournament in France next year.
“I’m keeping one eye on the World Cup and am considering a bit more depth in the squad, certainly in some positions,” he said. “There are new faces and I would like to use the three games to get more people on the pitch.
“Having said that, I’m not going out with the attitude that it’s an experiment – it’s not.
“We want to win the three Test matches, but we have more elbow room. The first game against South Africa will tell us a lot about how we are and hopefully we’ll have more room for manoeuvring over the course of the three games.”
O’Sullivan will name the starting team next Tuesday.
Ireland squad: Neil Best (Ulster), Rory Best (Ulster), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), John Hayes (Munster), Marcus Horan (Munster), Denis Leamy (Munster), Donncha Oâ€™Callaghan (Munster), Paul Oâ€™Connell (Munster), Malcolm Oâ€™Kelly (Leinster) , Frankie Sheahan (Munster), David Wallace (Munster), Bryan Young (Ulster), Isaac Boss (Ulster), Girvan Dempsey (Leinster), Gordon Dâ€™Arcy (Leinster), Shane Horgan (Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Brian Oâ€™Driscoll (Leinster), Ronan Oâ€™Gara (Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster),