Andy Farrell includes 5 uncapped players in 40-man Ireland squad to tour New Zealand

Robert Balaoucoune, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell and Rónan Kelleher have all been ruled out through injury.

ANDY FARRELL HAS included five uncapped players in his squad for Ireland’s summer tour of New Zealand, their first visit to the country since 2012.

Farrell has named a 40-man group for the five-game tour, with the five uncapped players Munster’s Jeremy Loughman, Connacht’s Cian Prendergast and Leinster trio Ciaran Frawley, Joe McCarthy and Jimmy O’Brien.

Ulster’s Michael Lowry, Leinster winger James Lowe and Munster’s Tadhg Beirne all make the squad despite missing the end of the season through injury, while Leinster out-half Harry Byrne is also recalled as Connacht’s Jack Carty misses out due to a wrist injury.

However in a major blow Leinster hooker Rónan Kelleher has been ruled out of the tour following his latest shoulder issue, with Robert Balaoucoune, Andrew Conway and Chris Farrell also missing out with injury.

Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton will once again captain the squad, which includes 12 players who have less than 10 Test caps to their name – Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, Mack Hansen, James Hume, Michael Lowry, Ryan Baird, Dave Heffernan, Tom O’Toole, Dan Sheehan, Nick Timoney and Kieran Treadwell.

Connacht senior coach Peter Wilkins will also join the tour to assist in team preparation, while Mick Kearney has been re-appointed as National Team Manager, following Gerard Carmody’s promotion to IRFU Director of Operations.

Farrell gathered a number of players at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre yesterday, with his Ulster contingent set to link up with the squad today following their return from South Africa.

Ireland are due to fly out to New Zealand later this week ahead of their three-Test tour against the All Blacks, who named their squad on Monday.

Farrell’s squad will also take in two games against the Maori All Blacks, who are first up on Wednesday, June 29 in Hamilton.

“This is the start of our Rugby World Cup campaign and it is going to be a fantastic challenge for our group facing five massive tests across the three weeks,” Farrell said. 

“Due to Covid we haven’t had an opportunity to tour and touring plays a massive role in teams gelling together and building cohesion on and off the field. This group could also be the last to play a Test series in New Zealand which makes it even more special.

“We will learn so much about the players and the group as a whole as we have to front up for five incredibly tough fixtures, far from the comforts of home and in grounds where the home support will greatly outnumber travelling Irish fans.”

Ireland head to Eden Park in Auckland for the opening Test against Ian Foster’s All Blacks on Saturday, 2 July.

The second Test will be played in Dunedin on 9 July, before a second meeting with the Maori All Blacks in Wellington on Wednesday, 12 July.

Ireland will then remain in Wellington for the third Test on Saturday, 16 July, with all five fixtures set to kick-off at 8.05am Irish time.

Ireland squad

Backs (18)

Bundee Aki (Connacht) 37 caps

Harry Byrne (Leinster) 2 caps

Joey Carbery (Munster) 32 caps

Craig Casey (Munster) 5 caps

Keith Earls (Munster) 96 caps

Ciaran Frawley (Leinster) uncapped

Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 17 caps

Mack Hansen (Connacht) 4 caps

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster) 57 caps

James Hume (Ulster) 3 caps

Hugo Keenan (Leinster) 20 caps

Jordan Larmour (Leinster) 30 caps

James Lowe (Leinster) 12 caps

Michael Lowry (Ulster) 1 cap

Conor Murray (Munster) 96 caps

Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster) uncapped

Garry Ringrose (Leinster) 42 caps

Johnny Sexton (Leinster) 105 caps (captain)

Forwards (22)

Ryan Baird (Leinster) 8 caps

Finlay Bealham (Connacht) 23 caps

Tadhg Beirne (Munster) 30 caps

Jack Conan (Leinster) 27 caps

Gavin Coombes (Munster) 2 caps

Caelan Doris (Leinster) 17 caps

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster) 57 caps

Cian Healy (Leinster) 116 caps

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Dave Heffernan (Connacht) 6 caps

Iain Henderson (Ulster) 68 caps

Rob Herring (Ulster) 26 caps

Jeremy Loughman (Munster) uncapped

Joe McCarthy (Leinster) uncapped

Peter O’Mahony (Munster) 84 caps

Tom O’Toole (Ulster) 2 caps

Andrew Porter (Leinster) 43 caps

Cian Prendergast (Connacht) uncapped

James Ryan (Leinster) 43 caps

Dan Sheehan (Leinster) 7 caps

Nick Timoney (Ulster) 2 caps

Kieran Treadwell (Ulster) 5 caps

Josh van der Flier (Leinster) 40 caps

Ireland summer tour fixtures

(All KO 8.05am Irish time, live on Sky Sports)

Māori All Blacks v Ireland
FMG Stadium, Hamilton, Wednesday, 29 June

New Zealand v Ireland
Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday, 2 July

New Zealand v Ireland
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Saturday, 9 July

Māori All Blacks v Ireland
Sky Stadium, Wellington, Tuesday, 12 July 

New Zealand v Ireland
Sky Stadium, Wellington, Saturday, 16 July

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