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McCloskey and Madigan omitted as Schmidt calls on Reidy and Roux

Schmidt has named a 32-man squad, with Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell also missing the cut.

IAN MADIGAN, Stuart McCloskey and Tommy O’Donnell are among the most notable omissions from Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad to travel to South Africa for a three-Test tour next month.

Ulster back row Sean Reidy and Connacht lock Quinn Roux are the two uncapped players included in the 32-man group.

Ireland’s Ian Madigan Ian Madigan has been left out of Joe Schmidt's squad. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Schmidt has resisted any temptation to call up further uncapped players such as Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue and Rory Scannell, Leinster centre Garry Ringrose, and Connacht duo Matt Healy and Tiernan O’Halloran.

The 32-man squad to visit South Africa is largely made up of the players who were involved in Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this year, which ended with a third-placed finish.

Lock Quinn Roux is a native of South Africa but qualifies for Ireland under the three-year residency rule.

Schmidt was the coach to bring him to Ireland originally, signing him for Leinster in 2012. The 25-year-old moved to Connacht in 2014, initially on loan, and has shown better form in the west. Roux has trained with Ireland this season.

Reidy, meanwhile, is a native of New Zealand who qualifies for Ireland thanks to a Kerry-born grandparent. The 27-year-old back row joined Ulster in 2014 and has been impressive in both the number seven and eight shirts this season.

Quinn Roux Roux is one of five Connacht players in the squad. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

There is room for twice-capped Stuart Olding to come into the group too, after his recovery from long-term knee injury. The versatile back, who covers centre, fullback and out-half, has been behind the likes of Jackson, McCloskey, Jared Payne and Luke Marshall in the pecking order at Ulster recently but Schmidt is a long-term fan.

Ulster centre Marshall, having served as the 24th man for all of Ireland’s Six Nations fixtures, is retained in the Ireland squad.

Madigan misses out on the tour having been an ever-present in Schmidt’s Ireland era up until this point. Schmidt and IRFU performance director David Nucifora had previously suggested that Madigan’s upcoming move to Top 14 side Bordeaux would leave him at a disadvantage for Ireland selection.

Imposing inside centre McCloskey – who has extended his contract at Ulster until 2019 – won his first cap during the Six Nations, starting against England in Twickenham, but Schmidt has decided to leave him in Ireland this time around.

Stuart Olding runs in for a try Stuart Olding will travel with Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The 23-year-old would have hoped to gain further experience on the South Africa tour but will instead have to wait until November for another possible Ireland opportunity.

The same applies to the uncapped players Schmidt has opted to leave at home, with the fixture against Canada in Dublin on 12 November likely to be targeted by many of them.

Back rows O’Donnell and Chris Henry will be heavily disappointed not to be called upon, as will Ulster wing Craig Gilroy.

The likes of Sean O’Brien, Simon Zebo, Denis Buckley, Josh van der Flier, Tommy Bowe, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Andrew Conway, Mike McCarthy and Peter O’Mahony miss out on this South Africa trip through injury.

“Touring South Africa will be arduous to say the least so we’ve attempted to prioritise players who are currently as close to full fitness as possible,” said Schmidt of his selection.

“In what is always a difficult balancing act, we’ve taken a long-term view with a number of players who need a rest or will benefit from a full pre-season.”

Ireland have never beaten the Springboks on South African soil before, losing all seven of their fixtures there so far. Schmidt’s men face the Boks in Cape Town on 11 June, before the second Test in Johannesburg on 18 June and a final clash in Port Elizabeth on 25 June.

Ireland squad for 2016 South Africa tour:

Forwards (18):

Jack McGrath (Leinster)
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster)
Rory Best (Ulster) (captain)
Richardt Strauss (Leinster)
Sean Cronin (Leinster)
Mike Ross (Leinster)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
Finlay Bealham (Connacht)
Devin Toner (Leinster)
Ultan Dillane (Connacht)
Iain Henderson (Ulster)
Quinn Roux (Connacht)
Donnacha Ryan (Munster)
CJ Stander (Munster)
Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Sean Reidy (Ulster)
Jordi Murphy (Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster)

Backs (14):

Conor Murray (Munster)
Kieran Marmion (Connacht)
Eoin Reddan (Leinster)
Johnny Sexton (Leinster)
Paddy Jackson (Ulster)
Robbie Henshaw (Connacht)
Stuart Olding (Ulster)
Luke Marshall (Ulster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Dave Kearney (Leinster)
Keith Earls (Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster)
Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
Rob Kearney (Leinster)

- This article was updated at 12.45pm to correct the misspelling of Sean Reidy’s name and a duplication of the final sentence.

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Murray Kinsella

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