IRELAND INTERIM COACH Les Kiss has named six uncapped players for the summer tour matches against the US Eagles and Canada.
The players hoping to make their Ireland debuts include the Connacht duo of Kieran Marmion and Robbie Henshaw, Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell and Mike Sherry, Stuart Olding of Ulster and Jamie Hagan [Leinster but moving to London Irish next season]
Rory Best will captain the team for the Test matches in Houston and Toronto this June. The appointment is a tonic for the Ulster hooker after he was left out of Warren Gatland’s Lions squad to tour Australia.
Kiss confirmed that he will remain in the Ireland coaching set-up, under new coach Joe Schmidt, following the tour. He said:
For the North America tour we have selected a squad who I believe have the right mix of youth and experience and I’m really looking forward to working with them over the next few weeks. USA and Canada have improved enormously since the 2011 RWC and we know we will be in for two tough test matches.”
Players not considered due to injury include Eoin Reddan, Stephen Ferris, Luke Marshall, Dave McSharry, Gordon D’Arcy and Keith Earls.
Niall Morris [Leicester Tigers] and Jordi Murphy [Leinster] were named in the emerging squad to take on Georgia in the Tblisi Cup this June. The major surprises, or demotions, to that squad include Leinster front rowers Sean Cronin and Michael Bent.
Forwards: Rory Best (c), Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Jamie Hagan, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, David Kilcoyne, Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter O’Mahony, Mike Ross, Mike Sherry, Richjardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Dan Tuohy.
Backs: Isaac Boss, Darren Cave, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Felix Jones, Ian Madigan, Kieran Marmion, Paul Marshall, Fergus McFadden, Stuart Olding, Andrew Trimble, Simon Zebo.
Emerging Ireland squad: Michael Allen, Michael Bent, Andrew Conway, John Cooney, Sean Cronin, David Foley, Eoin Griffin, Cathal Marsh, Michael Heaney, Rob Herring, Dave Kearney, Ian Keatley, Richard Lutton, Brendan Macken, Jack McGrath, Eoin McKeon, Martin Moore, Niall Morris, Jordi Murphy, Ian Nagle, Robbie Diack, Tiernan O’Halloran, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan, John Ryan, Lewis Stevenson.