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5 players Joe Schmidt should include on Ireland's summer tour to Argentina

Established players like Cian Healy, Jonathan Sexton and Mike Ross may be left at home to rest.

Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion spins a pass.
Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion spins a pass.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT NAMES his Ireland squad to tour Argentina on Monday afternoon. Schmidt will travel with the bulk of his Six Nations-winning squad but will include a number of fringe players that will hope to lay down a marker for the autumn internationals.

Here are five players we believe will do a job for their coach in Argentina next month.

Dave Kilcoyne

The Munster prop found himself out in the Test wilderness this season as Schmidt opted for Jack McGrath and Cian Healy. The Leinster duo were an impressive 60:20 minute unit but Healy’s ankles would benefit from an extended break. Kilcoyne finished the season strongly and impressed in the Heineken Cup. Played 30 games and scored four tries, and is Munster’s undoubted starter in the No.1 jersey.

Darren Cave

Quinn Roux and Cian Healy tackle Darren Cave Leinster's Quinn Roux and Cian Healy tackle Darren Cave. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Cave claimed his ‘my face doesn’t fit’ comments [in December] were taken out of context and he has made all of the right moves since to prove, to Schmidt, he is a loyal soldier. That has included a move to inside centre and a burgeoning, promising midfield partnership with Jared Payne. Has outshone provincial teammate Luke Marshall in the final months of the season and is a consistent line-breaker.

Kieran Marmion

Schmidt has relied on Leinster’s Isaac Boss and Eoin Reddan as scrum-half back-up, to Conor Murray, in his opening eight games in charge. The pair will be, respectively, 35 and 34 when the World Cup gets underway next September.

Marmion toured with Ireland last summer but has yet to earn his debut. He has been an ever-present for Connacht this season and finished the season as his team’s top try-scorer. Schmidt would be wise to bring Marmion, or Grenoble’s James Hart, to give a young talent the chance.

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Dan Tuohy

The Ulster man was in line to start alongside Paul O’Connell in the November internationals before injury intervened. He then got his opportunity against Scotland, in the Six Nations, after illness ruled Paul O’Connell out. Came off the bench in the win over Wales but fractured his arm in his first contact.

Dan Tuohy injured Dan Tuohy holds his injured forearm. Source: INPHO/Colm O'Neill

Iain Henderson came in for the remainder of the championship. Tuohy returned in April to regain his place in the Ulster team. Possesses raw strength, is an effective ball carrier and his combative presence will be useful in Argentina.

Simon Zebo

Another player who will have been disappointed to miss out on the Six Nations campaign but who kept his head down and produced for his province. Exposed in defence in the league defeat to Leinster but was outstanding in the Heineken Cup against Toulouse and Toulon. Has made a number of fullback appearances and, with Robbie Henshaw expected to be given a chance at 13, he may be asked to cover first-choice Rob Kearney.

Who do you think Schmidt should take with him to Argentina?

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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