Joe Schmidt names extended squad for November series
New Ireland coach selects 42-man panel for training camp at Carton House next weekend
Leicester’s Niall Morris has been named in the Ireland squad
Joe Schmidt has named an extended squad of 42 players for next Sunday’s brief training camp at Carton House this weekend.
The new Ireland coach will start his preparations for the November internationals on Sunday with the players gathering for a two-day get together and has largely opted for a tried and tested selection in the panel.
However, Leicester back Niall Morris is among the new faces while the young Leinster prop Jack McGrath is also involved.
Shane Jennings is another notable inclusion, the Leinster veteran winning the last of his 13 caps against Scotland in the 2012 Six Nations having fallen largely out of favour under previous coach Declan Kidney.
With Ireland due to take on Samoa, Australia and New Zealand in the Guinness Series in November, Schmidt admitted that selecting the panel was far from straightforward.
“Selection was difficult as it’s the first time we have had to narrow our focus a bit and determine a cut off point for players,” he explained.
“A number of selections were very tight which is positive. The group is predominantly ‘tried and proven’ but with some newer faces as well. It’s an opportunity to get to know the players as well as an opportunity to have a look ahead and start to get a little bit of organisation done for the Guinness Series.”
While the likes of Stuart Olding, Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy, Felix Jones and Tommy O’Donnell miss out through injury but could yet come into the equation, Schmidt hasn’t called upon either Tom Court or Darren Cave on this occasion.
Ulster’s loosehead prop Court, who was called into the British and Irish Lions squad during the summer, loses out with McGrath, Cian Healy and Dave Kilcoyne selected ahead of him.
Cave travelled with Ireland on their tour of Canada and the United States in May but despite appearing in both tests is deemed surplus to requirements on this occasion.
Backs (18): Rob Kearney (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster), Niall Morris (Leicester), Dave Kearney (Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Isaac Boss (Leinster).
Forwards (24): Cian Healy (Leinster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Stephen Archer (Munster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Seán Cronin (Leinster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Mike Sherry (Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Mike McCarthy (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), James Coughlan (Munster), Shane Jennings (Leinster), Seán O’Brien (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Chris Henry (Ulster).