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Uncapped Kleyn and Haley included in Ireland's World Cup training squad

Dave Kearney is among those called back into the national squad by Joe Schmidt.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS included the uncapped Jean Kleyn and Mike Haley in Ireland’s World Cup training squad.

Schmidt has named a 44-man group to begin preparations for the World Cup in Japan, with Ireland due to start training on 16 June. 

pjimage Munster's Kleyn and Haley are included. Source: Inpho

The inclusion of Munster second row Kleyn, a native of South Africa who will qualify for Ireland on 8 August, will be a major talking point.

The 25-year-old joined Munster in 2016 and has established himself as a key man for the province, with his work-rate, scrummaging, ruck work and aggression standing out.

England-born Haley, meanwhile, is another interesting inclusion in Schmidt’s squad.

The 24-year-old fullback joined Munster last summer and has become a first-choice player in the 15 shirt. He qualifies to play for Ireland through his Kerry-born grandmother.

Dave Kearney is named in the squad for a possible return to the international arena, although Quinn Roux, Stuart McCloskey, Will Addison, Jack O’Donoghue, Tom Farrell and Darren Sweetnam are among those to miss out. 

Otherwise, Schmidt’s extended training squad is along expected lines, with the Ireland boss giving himself scope to assess all of his options before deciding on his final 31-man World Cup squad.

Only Sean O’Brien and Dan Leavy have been listed as unavailable due to injury, although Schmidt says “there are one or two guys that may be added into the squad at a later stage.”

Ireland will play four World Cup warm-up games, beginning against Italy in Dublin on 10 August and taking in a visit to England, as well as away and home games versus Wales before a whittled-down 31-man squad departs for Japan.

Ireland’s World Cup campaign begins with a Pool A meeting against Scotland in Yokohama before they face Japan, Russia and Samoa. 

Ireland extended World Cup training squad:

Props (7): Cian Healy, Jack McGrath, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Furlong, John Ryan, Andrew Porter, Finlay Bealham

Hookers (4): Rory Best, Sean Cronin, Niall Scannell, Rob Herring

Second rows (6): James Ryan, Devin Toner, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne, Ultan Dillane, Jean Kleyn

Back rows (7): CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Tommy O’Donnell, 

Halfbacks (8): Conor Murray, Kieran Marmion, Luke McGrath, John Cooney, Johnny Sexton, Jack Carty, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery

Centres (5): Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell 

Back threes (7): Keith Earls, Rob Kearney, Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway, Jordan Larmour, Dave Kearney, Mike Haley.

Unavailable due to injury: Sean O’Brien, Dan Leavy. 

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Murray Kinsella

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