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Ireland name 37-strong Six Nations squad with one uncapped player

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Andy Farrell has named a 37-strong Ireland squad for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations, including only 27 of the 34 players capped during the recent three-game Autumn Nations Series. Keith Earls, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, the uncapped Jamie Osborne and Jacob Stockdale are the newcomers in the backs, replacing Robert Baloucoune, Robbie Henshaw and Joey Carbery.

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In the pack, Ryan Baird, Gavin Coombes, Iain Henderson, Ronan Kelleher and Dave Kilcoyne are all named on this occasion, with Jeremy Loughman, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney and Max Deegan missing out.

Ireland, who have named 17 backs and 20 forwards for the championship, used 15 backs and 19 forwards across the November programme that featured successive wins over South Africa, Fiji and Australia to bolster their No1 World Rugby ranking.

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Having watched all the other Six Nations countries announce their squads in the past week, Farrell has now unveiled his Irish pick ahead of their February 4 opener away to Wales. Included are Mack Hansen, Stuart McCloskey, Tadgh Furlong and Caelan Doris, the quartet of players that started all three recent Test games. 

The inclusion of the uncapped Osborne is recognition by Farrell of the 21-year-old’s eye-catching form at Leinster where he has taken advantage of the absence of the injured Henshaw, who hasn’t played since limping out of the Ireland win over Fiji in the first few minutes.

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Ireland will fine-tune their round one preparations with a gathering at Quinta da Lago in Portugal before flying into Cardiff on February 2, two days before they tackle Warren Gatland’s Wales at the start of a campaign that continues the following weekend with a home encounter in Dublin versus title holders France.

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Ireland Guinness Six Nations squad
Backs (17):
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 7 caps
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas) *
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(captain) 109 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (20):
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 caps
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 cap

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