This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Romania shuffle backline for World Cup opener against Ireland

New Zealand-born Hinckley Vaovasa will start at flyhalf for Romania in their Rugby World Cup Pool B opener against Ireland on Saturday as number eight Cristian Chirica wears the captain’s armband on the country’s return to the global finals.

Coach Eugen Apjok has made three changes to his starting XV from the side that lost 57-7 to Italy in their final warm-up fixture last month, as well as a host of positional adjustments to the back line.

Vaovasa has only made a single start in the number 10 jersey for the side before, having featured previously at centre, wing and fullback.

He will have Gabriel Rupanu alongside him and incredibly it is the seventh different halfback pairing for the team this year.

Apart from the halfbacks, Romania have the same personnel in the backline as they did against Italy, but all will be wearing different jersey numbers.

Former Australia junior international Jason Tomane is at inside centre, with Tongan-born Tangimana Fonovai at number 13.

Marius Simionescu, Nicolas Onutu and ex-Tongan Sevens player Tevita Manumua make up the back three.

The only change to the pack comes at flanker where Florian Rosu comes in for Damian Stratila. Chirica and Vlad Neculau make up the rest of the back row.

Adrian Motoc and Stefan Iancu are the lock pairing, while hooker Ovidiu Cojocaru will have props Iulian Hartig and Alexandru Gordas either side of him.

Romania played in every World Cup from 1987 to 2015 but were disqualified from the last tournament in Japan for fielding an ineligible player in the qualifiers.

Sione Faka'osilea featured when he had already played for Tonga and they had their hopes of appearing in Japan quashed.

Romania will also face South Africa, Scotland and Tonga in Pool B in France.

Romania team: 15-Marius Simionescu, 14-Nicolas Onutu, 13-Fonovai Tangimana, 12-Jason Tomane, 11-Tevita Manumua, 10-Hinckley Vaovasa, 9-Gabriel Rupanu, 8-Cristian Chirica (captain), 7-Vlad Neculau, 6-Florian Rosu, 5-Stefan Iancu, 4-Adrian Motoc, 3-Alexandru Gordas, 2-Ovidiu Cojocaru, 1-Iulian Hartig

Replacements: 16-Florin Bardasu, 17-Alexandru Savin, 18-Gheorghe Gajion, 19-Marius Iftimiciuc, 20-Dragos Ser, 21-Alin Conache, 22-Tudor Boldor, 23-Taylor Gontineac. REUTERS