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Craig Casey and Harry Byrne have trained with Ireland this year but aren't in the latest squad.
Craig Casey and Harry Byrne have trained with Ireland this year but aren't in the latest squad.
Image: INPHO

Farrell wants Ireland prospects to keep learning with provinces before call-ups

There had been clamour for 21-year-old halfbacks Craig Casey and Harry Byrne to be included.
Nov 6th 2020, 1:01 AM 6,596 10

IRELAND BOSS ANDY Farrell has indicated that he could make changes to his Autumn Nations Cup squad ahead of the tie with Georgia, potentially allowing him to bring a handful of uncapped prospects into the squad.

There had been clamour for the Ireland head coach to include the likes of Munster scrum-half Craig Casey and Leinster out-half Harry Byrne in his group for the upcoming games against Wales, England, Georgia, and a still-to-be-confirmed play-off opponent.

In the end, Farrell has gone for a very similar squad to the one that played the closing two rounds of the 2020 Six Nations over the past fortnight, although the uncapped James Lowe, Shane Daly, and Billy Burns are involved.

Farrell has also opted against naming a group of additional young players to train with his Ireland squad, as had been the case with previous announcements.

Farrell has indicated that he is keen for younger players like 21-year-old pair Casey and Byrne, both of whom have already trained with Ireland this year, to continue making progress by playing games with their provinces in the Pro14 over the coming weeks rather than being in Ireland camp.

“Those players are obviously playing at Pro14 level and trying to find their feet,” said Farrell.

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“We know the difference in the standard of that and sometimes you’ve got to get the balance of… is it doing their development good for them in regards to finding their feet, running a team, playing in the Pro14, winning games, having bad games, learning how to deal with all of that.

“That all goes into that but having said that, like we always say, we’re always watching what’s going on on the outside and you never know what could happen within a campaign.

“We’ll certainly assess where we’re at after the first couple of games.”

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Murray Kinsella

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