IRELAND MANAGER Declan Kidney has named a mixture of experience and youth for a two day training camp.
The squad will meet up ahead of October’s Guinness Series and as well as the return of big names like Paul O’Connell, Tommy Bowe, Stephen Ferris and Tom Court, three uncapped players have been included on the 33-strong panel.
Ulster’s Iain Henderson is called up on the back of a superb IRB Junior World Championship as his promising team-mate – centre Luke Marshall. Munster forward Dave O’Callaghan also gets the nod.
Rob Kearney, Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O’Brien miss out through injury while there is no room for Ian Madigan, Paul Marshall or Ian Keatley.
“At this stage of the season it is about building foundations for the Guinness Series and it is vital to get the players together to do that,” Kidney said in an IRFU statement.
A number of them have yet to play, but it was important to include some of them from a positional sense for this camp, such as Paul (O’Connell) and Rory (Best), as well as other players who missed the summer tour.
“There are a number of players who are not included due to injuries and will continue their rehab and their preseason work in their provinces, but with more playing time and a lot of high level games to come, there is certainly time for them to push for their inclusion in the Guinness series squad and selection for the games in November.”
The squad is as follows:
Rory Best (Banbridge – Ulster), Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster), Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster), Tom Court (Malone – Ulster), Sean Cronin (Lansdowne – Leinster), Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne – Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster – Munster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon – Ulster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon – Ulster), Cian Healy (Clontarf – Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Naas – Leinster), Iain Henderson (Queens University – Ulster), Chris Henry (Belfast Harlequins- Ulster), Denis Hurley (Dolphin- Munster), Luke Marshall (Ballymena – Ulster), Conor Murray (Garryowen – Munster), Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers – Connacht), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere – Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College – Leinster), David O’Callaghan (Dolphin – Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution – Munster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster – Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD – Leinster), Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution – Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution – Munster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne – Leinster), Mike Ross (Clontarf – Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon – Munster, Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College – Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena – Ulster), Dan Tuohy (Ballymena – Ulster), Damien Varley (Garryowen – Munster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution – Munster.