Andy Farrell has included six uncapped players in a 35-strong Ireland squad ahead of Six Nations games later this month versus Italy and France. Leinster’s Ryan Baird, Ed Byrne, Will Connors Hugo Keenan and Jamison Gibson Park, along with Shane Daly of Munster has been included for the rearranged matches that were postponed last March.
While Baird and Connors have been involved in national camps before, it will be a first time with the national squad for the other uncapped players. Johnny Sexton, who is nursing a hamstring injury following a short-lived Leinster appearance last Friday, will continue as captain for the Six Nations conclusion.
Farrell has also included five additional playes for training purposes next week ahead of the October 24 match at home to Italy and the clash with France in Paris seven days later.
They are Harry Byrne, James Lowe and James Tracy of Leinster, and Craig Casey and Fineen Wycherley of Munster. Lowe, who played for the New Zealand Maori against the 2017 Lions, is set to qualify to play for Ireland under the three-year residency rule in November.
Six players who played in Ireland’s last match, the February defeat to England, are absent from the squad. They are starters Tadhg Furlong (injured) and Devin Toner, along with four Twickenham replacements, John Cooney, Keith Earls (injured), Dave Kilcoyne (injured) and Ultan Dillane (injured).
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) October 8, 2020
Ireland currently sit fourth on the Six Nations table one point behind Scotland and four behind England and France who have all played an extra game. Farrell’s side recorded February home wins over Scotland (19-12) and Wales (24-12) before losing to England (12-24) at Twickenham.
Farrell said: “There has been a huge effort right across Irish Rugby to ensure that the professional game could return safely and that work is greatly appreciated by the national management. We have protocols in place to safeguard the welfare of the players and staff and are looking forward to completing the Six Nations Championships.
“We have two competitions to play in over the coming months but will focus first on a strong finish to the Six Nations. The return to rugby has not been without its challenges as some players have suffered injury setbacks and there has been limited playing opportunities ahead of a busy and exciting international window.
“We will be closely monitoring the form and fitness of players competing in the Guinness PRO14 over the coming weeks.
IRELAND SIX NATIONS SQUAD (rounds four and five)
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 26 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
Jack Carty (Connacht/Buccaneers) 10 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 21 caps
Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Con) uncapped
Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster) 9 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) uncapped
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 43 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) uncapped
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 24 caps
Kieran Marmion (Connacht/Corinthians) 27 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 3 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 81 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 29 caps
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 91 caps CAPTAIN
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 28 caps
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) uncapped
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Corinthians) 9 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) uncapped
Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) uncapped
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 17 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/UCD) 2 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 98 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 1 cap
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 55 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 11 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 3 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 67 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
Quinn Roux (Connacht/Galwegians) 12 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
John Ryan (Munster/Cork Constitution) 21 caps
CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 41 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
Training with Squad w/c October 12
Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) uncapped
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
James Lowe (Leinster) uncapped
James Tracy (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
Fineen Wycherley (Munster/Young Munster) uncapped
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