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Zebo dropped from Ireland squad as Schmidt includes 4 uncapped players for November

Bundee Aki, Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell and Adam Byrne receive call-ups for the first time.

Schmidt has dropped Zebo for next month.
Schmidt has dropped Zebo for next month.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DEPARTING MUNSTER STAR Simon Zebo has been dropped from Ireland’s extended squad for next month’s Autumn internationals after announcing he will leave the province at the end of next season.

The 27-year-old, who this week turned down a contract offer from Munster and the IRFU to move abroad, has been excluded from Joe Schmidt’s 38-man squad, with Darren Sweetnam, Bundee Aki, Adam Byrne and Chris Farrell called-up for the first time.

Poised to be Ireland’s starting fullback before Monday’s announcement, Zebo’s exclusion is a big statement from Schmidt who has already starting planning without the Cork native.

His current Munster team-mates, Sweetnam and Farrell, are rewarded while Bundee Aki — who becomes eligible under the three-year residency rule next month — is set to make his international debut as Ireland face South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

Leinster winger Byrne completes the uncapped quartet, but there is no place for Sean Cronin, the injured Josh van der Flier, Rory Scannell or Tiernan O’Halloran.

“In what we anticipate will be an incredibly physical Guinness Series plenty will be demanded of the squad,” Schmidt said.

“We have retained a core of experienced players but have also included a number of promising players that we hope will acquit themselves well.”

Ireland face the Springboks at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 11 November, before games against Fiji (18 November) and Argentina (25 November).

Ireland squad:

Forwards

Rory Best (Ulster, captain)
Jack Conan (Leinster)
Ultan Dillane (Connacht)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
Cian Healy (Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Ulster)
Rob Herring (Ulster)
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster)
Dan Leavy (Leinster)
Jack McGrath (Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (Leinster)
Tommy O’Donnell (Munster)
Peter O’Mahony (Munster)
Andrew Porter (Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster)
James Ryan (Leinster)
John Ryan (Munster)
CJ Stander (Munster)
Devin Toner (Leinster)
James Tracy (Leinster)
Kieran Treadwell (Ulster)

Backs 

Bundee Aki (Connacht)
Adam Byrne (Leinster)
Joey Carbery (Leinster)
Andrew Conway (Munster)
Keith Earls (Munster)
Chris Farrell (Munster)
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster)
Dave Kearney (Leinster)
Rob Kearney (Leinster)
Ian Keatley (Munster)
Kieran Marmion (Connacht)
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)
Luke McGrath (Leinster)
Conor Murray (Munster)
Johnny Sexton (Leinster)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)
Darren Sweetnam (Munster)

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