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Farrell calls up Connacht forward as Ulster trio rejoin Ireland squad

By Ian Cameron
Ireland training IRFU HPC at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Andy Farrell has called up Connacht forward Dave Heffernan as injury cover as Ireland emerged from their Guinness Six Nations opener against Wales all but unscathed.

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Ireland eased past the reigning champions 29-7, picking up where they left off in November with a comfortable victory in front of a packed Aviva Stadium.

Heffernan covers for Ulster hooker Rob Herring who is available for the Round 2 trip to Paris on account of a “calf issue”. Other than Herring, Farrell will enjoy a relatively full deck of cards to choose from.

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A statement from the IRFU reads: “Rob Herring is unavailable for selection this weekend with a calf issue and Dave Heffernan has joined the squad.

“Keith Earls will continue his hamstring rehab in Munster over the coming weeks and his progress will be assessed as the Championship progresses.

“Ulster trio Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune and Nick Timoney have re-joined the squad having featured for Ulster against Connacht in the URC on Friday evening.”

Ireland face arguably their toughest assignment of the tournament when they face Fabien Galthie’s star-studded  Les Bleus at the Stade de France next Saturday.

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“We know how difficult it is to go to Paris,” said Farrell ahead of the daunting trip to France this coming weekend. “We are lucky, I suppose, to be on a winning run.

“You are always hungry to get off to a good start and we have managed to do that. We will lick our wounds and we will prepare properly for the French test.

“It is the test of all tests isn’t it, at this moment in time? Everyone knows how well they are playing.”

UPDATED IRELAND SQUAD:

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BACKS
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 34 caps
Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 2 caps
Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 28 caps
Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 10 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 4 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 28 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 13 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) 1 cap
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 53 caps
James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 17 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps
Michael Lowry (Ulster/Banbridge) uncapped
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 93 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 38 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 102 caps CAPTAIN

FORWARDS:
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 7 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 19 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 26 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 23 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 13 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 53 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 113 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 6 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 65 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 17 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 80 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 2 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 41 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 41 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 3 caps
Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps
Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 3 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 36 caps

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