Leinster flanker Rhys Ruddock will captain the Ireland Wolfhounds in their game against the England Saxons at Kingsholm on Saturday evening.
Ruddock’s Leinster team-mate Richardt Strauss has been named on the bench, after his return to action in the Heineken Cup clash against the Ospreys last Friday following a heart operation .
Wolfhounds coach Anthony Foley has named a strong side, with former Ireland Under-20s captain Ruddock joined in the back row by Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell and Cardiff’s Robin Copeland, who will join up with O’Donnell and Munster next season.
In the front row, Munster, Ulster and Leinster combine in the shape of David Kilcoyne, Rob Herring and Martin Moore, respectively. Ulster pair Iain Henderson and Dan Tuohy have been named in the second row.
Leinster provide the half-backs, Isaac Boss pairing up with Ian Madigan.
Outside Madigan, Foley has named Darren Cave and Robbie Henshaw as centres. Craig Gilroy and Fergus McFadden, both returning from injury, get the chance to prove their fitness to Ireland coach Joe Schmidt on the wings, and Felix Jones is named at full-back.
Ireland Wolfhounds XV (v England Saxons), 'A' International Match, Saturday, 25 January, Kingsholm, kick-off 5pm): F Jones; F McFadden, R Henshaw, D Cave, C Gilroy; I Madigan, I Boss; D Kilcoyne, R Herring, M Moore; I Henderson, D Tuohy; R Ruddock (capt), T O'Donnell, R Copeland.
Replacements: R Strauss, J McGrath, S Archer, R Diack, J Murphy, K Marmion, I Keatley, S Zebo.