Ireland overhaul for Islanders

Ireland have made nine changes to their side to face the Pacific Islands at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Ulster’s Stephen Ferris and Leinster duo Jamie Heaslip and Luke Fitzgerald earn promotion from the ‘A’ team.

Ronan O’Gara is benched and is replaced by Paddy Wallace whose halfback partner will be Peter Stringer.

Frankie Sheahan, Malcolm O’Kelly and Simon Easterby come into the pack while Girvan Dempsey returns to replace Geordan Murphy at full-back and Shane Horgan moves from the wing to take over from Gordon D’Arcy at centre.

“I am happy with the changes made,” coach Eddie O’Sullivan told BBC Sport.

“We could always have stepped back and said ‘let us just make sure we win this game’, but it would be a missed opportunity and it is a strong side I have picked anyway.”

Ireland: 15 G Dempsey, 14 L Fitzgerald, 13 B O’Driscoll, 12 S Horgan, 11 D Hickie, 10 P Wallace, 9 P Stringer, 8 B Young, 7 F Sheahan, 6 J Hayes, 5 M O’Kelly, 4 P O’Connell, 3 S Easterby, 2 SD Ferris, 1 J Heaslip.

Replacements: 16 R Best, 17 S Best, 18 D O’Callaghan, 19 D Leamy, 20 I Boss, 21 22 R O’Gara or G D’Arcy.