Barbarians v Ireland preview
Declan Kidney will finalise his Ireland squad for the tour of New Zealand after Tuesday's non-cap game against the Barbarians at Kingsholm.
A 29-man squad will fly to Auckland on Thursday, and, although Kidney has yet to confirm its final make-up, only flanker Stephen Ferris has so far been ruled out.
Ferris, who is nursing a calf muscle problem, has been replaced by Leinster's Kevin McLaughlin.
But Kidney will hope the injury issues end there, with the Irish management optimistic that lock Paul O'Connell and flanker Sean O'Brien can both shrug off knee trouble to face the All Blacks.
O'Brien missed yesterday's RaboDirect PRO12 final between Leinster and the Ospreys, while Cian Healy also sat it out due to a dead leg, along with Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss (leg).
Kidney left four spaces available in the tour squad, and he hopes to finalise those positions before Ireland head from their Cheltenham base to London.
Uncapped players Simon Zebo, Mike Sherry and Declan Fitzpatrick will all start against the Barbarians in what should prove to be a useful run-out.
Munster fly-half Ronan O'Gara captains a team containing several members of Ulster's Heineken Cup final side.
Paddy Wallace and Darren Cave form the midfield pairing, with wing Craig Gilroy also starting, while the Ulster contingent up front includes lock Dan Tuohy and flanker Chris Henry.
After the Barbarians fixture, Ireland will face the world champion All Blacks in Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton between June 9 and 23.
Ireland international lock Mick O'Driscoll captains a Barbarians team that could see Mike Tindall making his farewell Kingsholm appearance.
The Gloucester centre, who has been linked with a move to France next season, is set to decide on his future plans after the Baa-baas tour finishes in Cardiff next weekend.
Tindall played against England at Twickenham yesterday, but coach John Kirwan has made a number of expected changes following that 57-26 defeat.
France internationals Cedric Heymans and Damien Traille start behind the scrum - as does former Gloucester number nine Rory Lawson - while the pack includes Ospreys prop Duncan Jones and Bath back-row forward Francois Louw.
The Barbarians' end-of-season excursion ends against Wales at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday - a game for which the Welsh Rugby Union will award caps.
Barbarians: C Heymans; P Sackey, M Tindall, D Traille, S Tagicakibau; F Contepomi, R Lawson; D Jones, B August, J Afoa, M O'Driscoll (capt), C Van Zyl, M Gorgodze, F Louw, R Lakafia.
Replacements: A de Malmanche, N Tialata, P Taele, A Qera, R Rees, S Donald, I Nacewa.
Ireland: K Earls (Munster); C Gilroy (Ulster), D Cave (Ulster), P Wallace (Ulster), S Zebo (Munster); R O'Gara (Munster, capt), C Murray (Munster); B Wilkinson (Connacht), M Sherry (Munster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D Tuohy (Ulster), D Ryan (Munster), J Muldoon (Connacht), C Henry (Ulster), P O'Mahony (Munster).
Replacements: R Best (Ulster), R Loughney (Connacht), D O'Callaghan (Munster), J Coughlan (Munster), P Marshall (Ulster), N Spence (Ulster), A Trimble (Ulster).
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