JOE SCHMIDT HAS named an extended 44-man squad for the 2014 Six Nations, including seven uncapped players.
The Ireland Wolfhounds team to play the English Saxons on the 25th of January will also be drawn from this selection, although those involved will now be hoping for Six Nations involvement.
Rodney Ah You, Robin Copeland, Rob Herring, Martin Moore, Jordi Murphy, Kieran Marmion and Robbie Diack are the men who could be in line to make their Ireland debuts this spring.
The likes of Richardt Strauss, Donnacha Ryan, Roger Wilson, Tommy Bowe, Simon Zebo, Declan Fitzpatrick and Craig Gilroy “will remain with their provinces to gain further recovery time or game time” after recent or ongoing injuries.
Head coach Schmidt said: ”As always a number of the selections were very tight. Following on from the Guinness Series, there is an experienced core of players in the squad who will offer continuity, as well as some new additions who have been selected with an eye to the future.
“With Robin Copeland returning to play in Ireland next season it will be an opportunity for him to impress during the training week, while some of the younger or less experienced players such as Rob Herring, Iain Henderson, Rhys Ruddock, Kieran Marmion and Felix Jones have turned in some very positive performances to earn spots in the squad.”
Forwards (24): Rodney Ah You (Buccaneers/Connacht)*, Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues)*, Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)*, Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster), Rob Herring (Ballinahinch/Ulster)*
David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster), Mike McCarthy (Leinster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)*, Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)*, Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster), Devin Toner, (Lansdowne/Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster), Damian Varley (Garryowen/Munster).
Backs (20): Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster), Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)*, Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster).
* denotes uncapped player