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The BBC's Jim Neely
"There are only four wholesale changes in personnel from the side that crashed out of the World Cup"
 real 28k

The Ireland captain Keith Wood
"We've got an awful lot of guys knocking on the door"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 1 February, 2000, 13:29 GMT
Ireland resist wholesale changes

Captain Keith Wood will be looking for an upset


Ireland have made four changes to the team to face England at Twickenham in the opening match of the Six Nations on Saturday.

Six Nations Championship
Coach Warren Gatland has drafted in centre Mike Mullins, Peter Clohessy in the front row, Bob Casey at lock, and Anthony Foley at number eight.

There are no new caps in the team but Mullins and Casey will be playing their first games in the Championship.

Kevin Maggs has been moved from centre to left wing, at the expense of Matt Mostyn.

The uncapped players among the replacements are hooker Frank Sheahan and Peter Stringer, the reserve scrum-half.

Gatland said: "The withdrawal of Ronan O'Gara and Jeremy Davidson because of injury, in a way, made our task easier, though naturally we regret the fact that they were not available for selection."

Paddy Johns has had to withdraw from the Ireland A team that faces England A at Northampton on Friday. His place goes to Mick O'Driscoll (Cork Constitution) while Mark Blair, of Dungannon, comes in as a replacement.

In the absence of Johns, the captaincy goes to hooker Shane Byrne, of Blackrock College.

Ireland team

15 Conor O'Shea, 14 Justin Bishop, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12- Mike Mullins, 11 Kevin Maggs; 10 David Humphreys, 9 Tom Tierney; 8 Anthony Foley, 7 Kieron Dawson, 6 Dion O'Cuinneagain, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Robert Casey, 3 Paul Wallace, 2 Keith Wood (captain), 1 Peter Clohessy.

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See also:
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
Ireland: player profiles
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
Gatland's Irish question
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
Irish look for U-turn
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
John Inverdale: It's England's to lose
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
England: Must try harder
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
England: player profiles
31 Jan 00 |  Six Nations
Woodward's last throw of the dice
01 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
England name two new caps
Links to other Six Nations stories are at the foot of the page.