The Ireland Coaching Team has named a 35-player squad to complete the final two rounds of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.
The squad, which will be captained by Johnny Sexton, contains six uncapped players: Leinster’s Ryan Baird, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Hugo Keenan, and Jamison Gibson Park, as well as Munster’s Shane Daly.
While Baird and Connors have been involved in national camps before it will be the first time with the national squad for the other uncapped players.
In addition, Leinster’s Harry Byrne, James Lowe, James Tracy, as well as Munster’s Craig Casey and Fineen Wycherley will train with the squad next week at IRFU High-Performance Centre in Dublin.
The big absentee is Ulster’s scrum-half John Cooney.
Cooney made his Ireland debut back in 2017 and has been a key figure for Ulster in recent seasons, leading to repeated calls for his promotion into Ireland’s number nine shirt. However, his form since the resumption of play hasn’t been great and he was dropped by Ulster for the Guinness Pro14 final against Leinster last month.
Ireland take on Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 24 October, before facing France in Paris the following Saturday.
Ireland currently sit fourth on the Six Nations table one point behind Scotland and 4 points behind England and France who have all played an extra game.
Back in February, Ireland recorded wins over Scotland (19-12) and Wales (24-12) before losing to England (12-24) at Twickenham.
Speaking about the squad, Ireland Head Coach Andy 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 Championships. 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 Squad – 2020 Guinness 6 Nations Championships – Round 4 & 5
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
Johnny 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
Rónan 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 12th October
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