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Hanrahan, McCloskey and 5 full internationals included in Emerging Ireland squad for Tbilisi

Allen Clarke and Girvan Dempsey coach the side to face Italy, Uruguay and Georgia next month.

JJ Hanrahan Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

MUNSTER’S OUT-GOING PLAYMAKER JJ Hanrahan will get a chance to impress with an Irish jersey before he dons the green of Northampton next season.

The Kerryman is one of 27 players selected for an Emerging Ireland side who will take part in next month’s Tbilisi Cup in Georgia.

Hanrahan will be joined by fellow Munster men Stephen Archer and James Cronin. The front rows are two of the party’s five players with senior international experience alongside Rhys Ruddock, Noel Reid and Ulster hooker Rob Herring.

Rhys Ruddock Rhys Ruddock was one of Ireland's best performers in November, but injury has left him outside the senior squad. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The coaching ticket of Allen Clarke and Girvan Dempsey will have plenty of form players from around the provinces to choose from for the fixtures against Emerging Italy, Uruguay and Georgia — with the latter two sides gearing up to September’s World Cup.

Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey will deliver an alternative to Reid at inside centre,while Connacht’s Denis Buckley is included after earning a place on the Pro12 Team of the Season.

Excluding the soon-to-be Saint, Hanrahan, there is one player included from overseas: former Connacht centre Eoin Griffin who played with London Irish this season.

Ireland squad for Tbilisi Cup which kicks off on 13 June:

Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)
Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht)
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster)
John Cooney (Terenure/Connacht)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Eoin Griffin (London Irish)
JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Matt Healy (Lansdowne/Connacht)
Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster)
Ben Marshall (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht)
Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster)
Eoin McKeon (Corinthians/Connacht)
Peter Nelson (Malone/Ulster)
Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster)
Lewis Stevenson (Malone/Ulster)
Frank Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Andy Warwick (Ballymena/Ulster)

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Sean Farrell

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