Jamie Heaslip will captain Ireland in the opening game of the 2012 Guinness Series against South Africa this Saturday.
The Leinster No.8 will be leading his country for the first time when he walks the team onto the Aviva Stadium pitch as part of a side that contains one new cap in the starting team and a further three uncapped players among the replacements.
Richardt Strauss will earn his first cap for Ireland at hooker in the front row alongside his provincial colleagues Cian Healy and Mike Ross. Mike McCarthy is selected in the second row alongside Donnacha Ryan, with Chris Henry selected to start at openside in the back row, with Peter O’Mahoney selected at blindside.
In the backs, Simon Zebo will be earning his first start for Ireland at full back, in a back three that has plenty of experience in Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe, who will be earning his 50th international cap for Ireland since making his debut against the USA in 2004.
Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray are selected as the halfbacks with Gordon D’Arcy and Keith Earls completing the starting lineup as the centre partnership.
Among the replacements, forwards David Kilcoyne, Michael Bent and Iain Henderson are all in line to make their international debuts should they be called into the game.
Ireland Team to play South Africa on Saturday, 10th November 2012 in the 2012 Guinness Series, Aviva Stadium, Kick off 17.30:
15 – Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster/1)
14 – Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster/49)
13 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster/32)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster/69)
11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster/48)
10 – Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College/Leinster/32)
9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster/12)
1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster/33)
2 – Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)*
3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster/22)
4 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster/21)
5 – Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht/4)
6 – Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster/7)
7 – Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster/2)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster/50) Captain
16 – Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster/21)
17 – David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster)*
18 – Michael Bent (Leinster)*
19 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster/88)
20 – Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster)*
21 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster/45)
22 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster/124)
23 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster/14)
N.B. *denotes uncapped player