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Dublin: 0 °C Monday 21 January, 2019

Uncapped Byrne and Beirne in Ireland squad for summer tour to Australia

Also included is John Cooney after an outstanding season for Ulster since winning his first cap last summer.

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt has included Leinster out-half Ross Byrne as one of two uncapped players in his 32-man squad to tour Australia next month.

Ross Byrne looks on as Jonathan Sexton prepares to kick Byrne tends Sexton as he takes on a penalty in the Champions Cup final. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

European Player of the Year nominee Tadhg Beirne is also named in the squad having linked up with the squad at Carton House during the Six Nations campaign.

“If I get selected for the tour I’ll still be regarded as a Scarlets player which I will take a lot of pride in,” said soon-to-be Munster man Beirne last week.

Tadhg Beirne with his team dejected at the end of the game Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Beirne joins Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Devin Toner and Quinn Roux in the second row stocks while the Grand Slam-winning back rows Dan Leavy, CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony, Jack Conan and Jordi Murphy remain in place – though Beirne and Henderson could easily switch to blindside if required.

Ulster Player of the Year John Cooney will be bidding to add to his one cap won against Japan last summer as he is picked ahead of Luke McGrath.

Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki will be aiming to shake off injury worries before jetting off to Brisbane next weekend, while Keith Earls and Rob Kearney represent the veteran contingent in the back-field alongside Andrew Conway, Jordan Larmour (who will celebrate his 21st birthday the day after the first Test) and record-breaking Jacob Stockdale.

Tadhg Furlong and Rob Herring arrive for training Rob Herring and Tadhg Furlong make their way to Ireland training in March. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Leinster 10 Byrne, who has been able to forge a reputation as an intelligent and assured game manager while Jonathan Sexton and Joey Carbery were on international duty, will now join his Leinster positional rivals in green with Ireland chasing a 13th consecutive Test win.

Rory Best captains the group, with his Ulster deputy Rob Herring making the squad ahead of Munster hooker Niall Scannell.

Ireland squad for 2018 tour of Australia


Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 78 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 47 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 23 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 13 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 7 caps


Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain 111 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 61 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 caps

Second Rows

Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 38 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) uncapped
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 5 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 8 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 58 caps

Back rows

Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 7 caps
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 20 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 47 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 23 caps


Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 21 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 64 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College RFC/Ulster) 1 cap


Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 73 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) uncapped
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 10 caps


Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 33 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 7 caps

Back threes

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 67 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahnch/Ulster) 9 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 83 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps


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Sean Farrell

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