Michael Wiringi admits to 'itchy feet' as he waits to make World Cup debut for Romania

New Zealand-born fly-half says he feels honoured to play for the Oaks against Ireland at Wembley

LONDON, 25 Sept - The place of birth might be New Zealand but Michael Wiringi will be a proud Romanian when he makes his World Cup debut on Sunday against Ireland at Wembley.

The fly-half is one of nine changes from Wednesday's 38-11 defeat against France. Coach Lynn Howells has rotated his squad (pictured on their arrival) to name the Oaks' most experienced test team with 728 caps - and the oldest they have ever fielded at the World Cup.

Valentin Ursache, who scored a try against Les Bleus, was picked only to be hit with a one-week suspension for dangerous tackling in that match.

The 30-year-old Wiringi, who has one cap, is eligible to play for Romania through residency rules and was a frustrated spectator at Olympic Park.

'Very proud'

“I am very excited, I have waited a long time for this," Wiringi said on Friday. “I had itchy feet after preparing for France and I just wanted to put the jersey. I really want make most of the opportunity.

“I am very proud and honoured to represent Romania, it’s a proud country with huge history in rugby, I am very proud to be a part of this team.” 

The Oaks face Ireland at Wembley Stadium four days after playing against France. 

Coach Howells admitted: "It has been very difficult for us but the players have used the time well and by time we arrive at Wembley we will be ready.”

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