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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 3 December 2020

McCloskey and Marshall among Ulstermen called into Ireland camp

11 of Les Kiss’ players are heading to Ireland camp tomorrow.

ULSTER CENTRES STUART McCloskey and Luke Marshall are part of an 11-man Ulster group who will take part in the 24-hour Ireland camp that starts tomorrow.

Stuart McCloskey tackled by Jack O'Donoghue McCloskey was excellent against Munster. Source: Presseye/Matt Mackey/INPHO

Joe Schmidt will bring together close to 50 players for a mini camp in Carton House as preparations for the Six Nations begin. Ireland’s opening tie against Wales in Dublin is now just five weeks away.

McCloskey and Marshall have been in excellent form as Ulster’s centre pairing, with the former once again outstanding in this evening’s 9-7 defeat to Munster at Kingspan Stadium.

Marshall has won six caps for Ireland, making his debut against Scotland in the 2013 Six Nations, with his most recent appearance coming on the 2014 tour of Argentina.

23-year-old McCloskey is uncapped, but was involved in the Ireland camp before the meeting with the Barbarians in Thomond Park last May. The Bangor man’s form in recent months has been sensational and he is being tipped as a possible starter for Ireland in the forthcoming Six Nations.

Other exciting young Irish players such as Garry Ringrose of Leinster and Connacht’s Ultan Dillane will also head into camp with Ireland tomorrow. Schmidt will name his Six Nations squad later this month.

“Stuart will be going down,” said Ulster’s director of rugby Les Kiss this evening after the defeat to Munster, “Luke Marshall is going down too.

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“Off the top of my head I won’t be able to name them all… Rob Herring is going down, Rory (Best) obviously, the oldest one. Anyone from the left-field, I’m not sure. We’ve got 11 going down for that.”

Luke Marshall Marshall already has six Ireland caps. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Having left his position with the Ireland backroom staff to take up his role with Ulster after the World Cup, Kiss’ thoughts are with the review of today’s loss to Munster, rather than upcoming events at Carton House.

He must now plan for the visit to Oyonnax in the Champions Cup next weekend after a disappointing result at home to Anthony Foley’s Munster.

We’ll still sit in the room together with the group that’s left and we’ll have a good look at it,” said Kiss. “I’ve got no doubt that those [Ireland] guys will come back and look at the video presentation we do for that, and get back on track with what we’re doing here.

“They’ve got a day with their national team and that’s great for them, but we’ll get back on what we need to do here. We want to try and trust our skill sets and back them; it’s when you get one error, you’ve got to make sure you don’t put together two in a row.

“We probably had too many errors on errors on errors. We gave them [Munster] that hope to stay alive, the field goal was a great option from them at the end, and fair play to them. We’re disappointed.”

- Reporting by Sean Farrell.

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Murray Kinsella

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