Sexton, Ryan, Murray included for Italy game but Harry Byrne misses out

Uncapped trio Tom O’Toole, Craig Casey and Ryan Baird are also named in the 36-man panel.

Racing back to fitness: Sexton and Murray.
Racing back to fitness: Sexton and Murray.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

ANDY FARRELL HAS resisted the temptation to bring Harry Byrne and Gavin Coombes into his squad for next week’s game against Italy in Rome.

The Ireland head coach named a 36-man squad for the third championship game of the campaign, including the three key players who missed out on the defeat to France with injury: Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and James Ryan.

With Peter O’Mahony still suspended and both Caelan Doris and Jacob Stockdale still injured, there had been calls for Munster back rower, Coombes, and Connacht’s in-form winger, Alex Wootton, to get the nod. Farrell thought otherwise.

Similarly, Harry Byrne is not included. Talked up by Brian O’Driscoll, among others, Byrne has to patiently wait his chance. Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey, Munster’s Andrew Conway and Leinster’s Jack Conan were the other big winners as Farrell named them among the 36. 

Three players – Ryan Baird, Craig Casey and Tom O’Toole – are uncapped. Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne, who missed out against France with injury, is also included. 

The IRFU statement read: “An Ireland squad of 36 players will reassemble on Monday morning at the IRFU High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus as they step up preparation for taking on  Franco Smith’s Italian side at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday afternoon.

“There were no significant injury concerns for the players who featured for their provinces in the PRO14 over the weekend and all twelve are fit to return to national camp.”

Rugby Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella's exclusive analysis on the URC interpros and Champions Cup clashes this December

Become a Member


Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 30 caps
Billy Burns (Ulster) 5 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 12 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 24 caps
Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Con) 1 cap
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 90 caps
Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster) 14 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 7 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 49 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 8 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 4 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 4 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 88 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 96 caps


Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) uncapped
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 19 caps
Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 4 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 17 caps
Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 7 caps
Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 18 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 46 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 106 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 5 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 60 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 18 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 8 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 40 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) uncapped
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 27 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 33 caps
CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 48 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 30 caps

About the author:

Garry Doyle

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel