12 Nov 2008

O'Leary to get first start for Ireland against All Blacks

6:02 am on 12 November 2008

The Munster halfback Tomas O'Leary is a surprise selection for Ireland's clash with the All Blacks at Croke Park on Sunday morning.

O'Leary, who will be making his first start, replaces Eoin Reddan in one of six changes made by coach Declan Kidney from the win over Canada.

Rory Best, John Hayes, Alan Quinlan and David Wallace return to the pack with Jerry Flannery, Tony Buckley, Stephen Ferris and Shane Jennings losing out.

Girvan Dempsey returns at full-back in place of Keith Earls while Paddy Wallace is named in the replacements.

Those left out of the match day squad include Ulster centre Andrew Trimble and Leicester's Geordan Murphy.

Dempsey is recalled to the number 15 jersey to win his 82nd cap and is noted for his steadiness rather than speed and agility to turn a game.

Brian O'Driscoll will be captaining the Irish for the 50th occasion.

The Ireland coach Kidney says his team selection was tailored to the All Blacks with experience influencing his thinking.