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. 

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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.   

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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).

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.

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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) 

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Backs (16)

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

Forwards (19)

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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