Wolfhounds ready to state their cases
Rugby:The Irish management are hoping the experienced players on the Irish squad can show some form just over a week out from their first Six Nations match against Wales. Andrew Trimble, Luke Fitzgerald, Isaac Boss and prop Tom Court have all been included in the 23-man Ireland Wolfhounds squad that will play England Saxons in Galway on Friday evening.But Brian O'Driscoll is not included having played for Leinster against Exeter at the weekend.
In addition several young players, who have made an impact this year have been included. Connacht fullback Robbie Henshaw and centre Dave McSharry as well as Ulster’s Paul Marshall and Lewis Stevenson were called into the squad that includes nine players uncapped at full international level.
Michael Bent, David Kilcoyne and Iain Henderson, who have all played for Ireland twice have been brought into what is a mixed squad. The team to face the Saxons will be picked on Thursday
Bringing all of the players together this year in Carton House to prepare for the game against Wales has turned out to be a benefit to everyone, as Ireland attack coach Les Kiss explained.
“We are really happy with what we have here," he said. "We have all the top players in the country here. It’s a real nice handy feeling and we were able to have 15 against 15 at training today.”
Speaking of Fitzgerald, Kiss added that it was encouraging to have him back following a long spell out with injury.
“It’s a real pleasing thing,” added Kiss. “All the coaches are happy to see Luke back again after all of his injury problems. It is nice to see him back on his feet so quickly this time. He’s right in the shop window now.”
Irish Wolfhounds squad(v England Saxons, Friday 7.45pm): Michael Bent (Dublin University/Leinster), Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster), Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), James Coughlan (Dolphin/Munster), Tom Court (Malone/Ulster), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon /Ulster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster), David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Paul Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster), Kevin McLaughlin (St.Mary’s College/Leinster), Dave McSharry (UCD/Connacht), Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Mike Sherry (Garryowen/Munster), Lewis Stevenson (Malone/Ulster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Damien Varley (Garryowen/Munster)