Rugby Union: Ireland call up Duignan for World Cup qualifier

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The Independent Online
PAT DUIGNAN, the 26-year-old Galwegians and Connacht centre, is the only new cap in the Ireland team to play Georgia in Saturday's World Cup qualifying match at Lansdowne Road.

Duignan was born in Canada of Irish parents on 1 May 1972, but grew up in Australia. He came to Ireland last season when he became a regular in the Connacht team, which was then coached by Warren Gatland, the current Ireland national coach. With the former captain Keith Wood ruled out because of contractual differences of opinion with the Irish Rugby Football Union, Ross Nesdale takes over as hooker. Paddy Johns continues as captain, having led Ireland on last summer's tour to South Africa.

In the front row, Peter Clohessy has been switched from his original tight-head position to take over at loose-head prop. Eric Miller, who has only recently returned from Leicester to join Terenure College in Dublin, has been chosen at blind-side flanker, despite being short of match practice. Miller has played just twice for Ulster and twice for his club.

IRELAND: C O'Shea (London Irish); J Bishop (London Irish), P Duignan (Galwegians), J Bell (Dungannon), K Maggs (Bath); E Elwood (Galwegians), C McGuinness (St Mary's College); P Clohessy (Young Munster), R Nesdale (Newcastle), P Wallace (Saracens), P Johns (Saracens, capt), M O'Kelly (London Irish), E Miller (Terenure College), A Ward (Ballynhinch), V Costello (St Mary's College). Replacements: C Scally (UCD), D Humphreys (Dungannon), G Dempsey (Terenure College), D O Cuinneagain (Sale), J Davidson (Castres), J Fitzpatrick (Dungannon), A Clarke (Dungannon).