Ireland promote Ross

Harlequins prop included for Eagles clash

Last Updated: 27/05/09 7:20pm

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Ross: First start

Ross: First start

Sky Bet

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has made one change to his side for Sunday's Test against the USA with prop Mike Ross promoted to the starting XV.

The Harlequins front row won his first cap after starting as a replacement in Saturday's 25-6 victory over Canada.

Tony Buckley switches to loosehead in Santa Clara with Tom Court relegated to the bench for the final match of Ireland's senior tour.

Munster lock Mick O'Driscoll has also been included having recovered from the wrist strain he sustained in the below-par performance in Vancouver.

Even so, Leinster's David Toner has been called up as cover as a precautionary measure.

Toner, who was named in the Churchill Cup party, will join the squad on Wednesday along with Ireland's backs coach Alan Gaffney.

Kidney said: "We felt after Canada that the players who started deserved another chance to improve on that performance.

"We thought long and hard about making further changes to the side but with only two full training sessions under their belts before the Canada game, we decided it would be better to give an opportunity for the same players and combinations to find their feet."

Ulster hooker Rory Best, who has again been named captain, has also called for an improvement from the Six Nations grand slam winners this weekend.

Best said: "We need to lift our levels from the Canada game if we want to put in a performance that can put us in a position to win.

"There was a little lack of cohesion in Vancouver which was possibly down to the number of new combinations and the eight new caps we had."

Ireland: 15-G Duffy (Connacht); 14-B Murphy (Munster), 13-D Cave (Ulster), 12-I Whitten (Ulster), 11-I Dowling (Munster); 10-I Keatley (Connacht), 9-P Stringer (Munster); 1-T Buckley (Munster), 2-R Best (Ulster, captain), 3-M Ross (Harlequins), 4-B Casey (London Irish), 5-M O'Driscoll (Munster), 6-J Muldoon (Connacht), 7-N Ronan (Munster), 8-D Leamy (Munster).
Replacements: 16-S Cronin (Connacht), 17-T Court (Ulster), 18-R Caldwell (Ulster), 19-D Ryan (Munster), 20-E Reddan (Wasps), 21-N O'Connor (Ulster), 22-D Hurley (Munster).

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