Ireland are less than two months away from their first Test against Australia which will take place at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The following two games will be played in Melbourne and Sydney and the tour provides a perfect opportunity for Joe Schmidt to introduce some new blood to the rigours of international Test rugby.
Schmidt, though, has to find a right balance. Ireland are riding the crest of a wave at the moment in terms of confidence so it will be important to field a side who are capable of winning a series against the Wallabies, the players of which will be primed and ready in the middle of their Super Rugby season.
However, there are some players we would like to see win their first cap for their country based on their performances this season with the added benefit of further increasing the strength in depth available to Schmidt and the rest of his coaching staff.
We’ve chosen three players we would like to see pull on that green jersey for the first time.
1. Sammy Arnold
The English-born former Ulster centre has been a revelation for Munster this season. He was present in Carton House throughout Ireland’s Six Nations campaign so he won’t be unfamiliar with the systems and standards set by Schmidt.
Injuries to Chris Farrell and Jaco Taute has seen Arnold promoted to an important role within the Munster set-up and he put in an incredible performance alongside Rory Scannell in their victory over Toulon in the Champions Cup quarter-final.
Arnold is physical, quick and possesses lovely hands which makes him a threat in the outside channel and we should see him earn his debut for Ireland in June.
2. Tadhg Beirne
The Munster bound Scarlets second-row is in the running for European Player Of The Year, and the former Leinster player has shown his former province what they have been missing out on with consistently excellent performances for the Welsh side.
Beirne is an excellent ball carrier, efficient in the air and is one of the best players in Europe at winning ball on the deck.
With his move to Munster just a few months away, the upcoming tour seems like the perfect opportunity to give the 26-year-old his Irish debut.
3. Ross Byrne
Ross Byrne has played the majority of Leinster’s campaign at out-half, guiding the eastern province to the top of Conference B in the Guinness PRO14.
When it comes down to selection and when Johnny Sexton is not available, Leo Cullen has opted to choose Byrne ahead of Joey Carbery at 10, with the Auckland born player often shifting to full-back to accommodate Byrne.
Further back-up to Sexton must be top of the agenda for the Irish management. Ian Madigan will not be involved as he is playing for Bristol, who will be in the Premiership next season and the future surrounding Paddy Jackson remains unclear.
With Carbery having played most of his rugby at full-back recently and Ian Keatley, although playing well at 10 for Munster, recently turned 31, the future needs to be considered and Byrne is well worth a look.