- Former Ireland Under 20 captain leads the Wolfhounds
- Simon Zebo among replacements in strong squad
Photo: Getty Images
Leinster flanker Rhys Ruddock will lead O2 Ireland Wolfhounds against England Saxons at Kingsholm on Saturday (January 25, kick-off 5pm).
Former Ireland Under 20 captain Ruddock, who will wear the number six jersey, is joined by Robin Copeland and Tommy O'Donnell in the back row, both of whom have shown exceptional form in the Heineken Cup for Cardiff Blues and Munster respectively.
Wing Craig Gilroy is among five Ulster players to be named after being drafted into Ireland's Six Nations squad on Tuesday. The game offers him the chance to impress ahead of the 2 February clash with Scotland.
Fellow Ulstermen Darren Cave, Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy and Rob Herring will also start for the Wolfhounds.
Among the replacements are British and Irish Lion Simon Zebo, highly-rated Connacht scrum half Kieran Marmion and hooker Richardt Strauss, who is selected just one week after returning to the Leinster side following heart surgery.
Ireland Wolfhounds side to face England Saxons
15 Felix Jones (Munster); 14 Fergus McFadden (Leinster), 13 Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), 12 Darren Cave (Ulster), 11 Craig Gilroy (Ulster); 10 Ian Madigan (Leinster), 9 Isaac Boss (Leinster); 1 David Kilcoyne (Munster), 2 Rob Herring (Ulster), 3 Martin Moore (Leinster); 4 Iain Henderson (Ulster), 5 Dan Tuohy (Ulster); 6 Rhys Ruddock (Leinster capt), 7 Tommy O'Donnell (Munster), 8 Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues).
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss (Leinster), 17 Jack McGrath (Leinster), 18 Stephen Archer (Munster), 19 Robbie Diack (Ulster), 20 Jordi Murphy (Leinster), 21 Kieran Marmion (Connacht), 22 Ian Keatley (Munster), 23 Simon Zebo (Munster).