Rugby Union: Crotty earns call-up against Wallabies

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The Independent Online
The 22-year-old Garryowen left wing Dominic Crotty will earn his first Test cap for Ireland when they meet Australia at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Cork-born Crotty, who is 6ft 1in and weighs 13st 6lb, takes the place of Richard Wallace, one of eight changes to the side who lost 40-25 to Western Samoa last Tuesday. Crotty, who moved to Garryowen this season, was a member of the Ireland Under-21 team who won the Triple Crown at that level last season. His regular position is full-back but he played on the left wing for Munster against Wasps and Toulouse in the European Cup this season.

Jim Staples is recalled at full-back instead of Simon Mason, Mark McCall takes over from Rob Henderson, James Topping switches wings to accommodate Crotty, and Paul Burke returns at outside-half in place of David Humphreys.

In the pack, Nick Popplewell and Gabriel Fulcher are back at loose head and lock, displacing Henry Hurley and Mick Galwey, while as expected Keith Wood ousts Allen Clarke at hooker. Anthony Foley is recalled at No 8 instead of Paddy Johns.

Sale have defied Epruc's edict not to allow their players to be considered for selection for the Counties of Origin series, and nine of the club's team are in the North side to face Queensland at Huddersfield on Wednesday evening.

Queensland warmed up for the North by shrugging off the effects of conceding 23 first-half penalties to swamp Saracens - playing under the alias of a Michael Lynagh XV - with four second-half tries in a 28-5 victory at Enfield yesterday.

Saracens failed to exploit the penalties and possession and did not bother to give Lynagh, the greatest kicker in rugby history, a penalty chance at goal. Lynagh, playing against his old Australian state side, confined himself to a failed attempt to convert Saracens' only score, a try by the lock Tony Copsey.

IRELAND (v Australia; Lansdowne Road, Dublin; Saturday): J Staples (Harlequins); J Topping (Ballymena), J Bell (Northampton), M McCall (Dungannon), D Crotty (Garryowen); P Burke (Bristol), N Hogan (Oxford University, capt); N Popplewell (Newcastle), K Wood (Harlequins), P Wallace (Saracens), G Fulcher (London Irish), J Davidson (London Irish), D Corkery (Bristol), D McBride (Malone), A Foley (Shannon). Replacements: M Field (Malone), D Humphreys (London Irish), S McIvor (Garryowen), P Johns (Saracens), H Hurley (Moseley), A Clarke (Northampton).

North team, Digest, page 19