Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named six uncapped players in his 35-man squad for the final two rounds of the 2020 Six Nations.
Farrell’s side resume their tournament – suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic – against Italy at the Aviva Stadium on October 24 before facing France in Paris a week later.
“There has been a huge effort right across Irish Rugby to ensure that the professional game could return safely and that work is greatly appreciated by the national management,” said Farrell.
Six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the final rounds of the #GuinnessSixNations #ShoulderToShoulderhttps://t.co/pSfx5eomjZ pic.twitter.com/IAsMclA0Au
“We have protocols in place to safeguard the welfare of the players and staff and are looking forward to completing the Six Nations Championships.
“We have two competitions to play in over the coming months but will focus first on a strong finish to the Six Nations Championships.
“The return to rugby has not been without its challenges as some players have suffered injury setbacks and there has been limited playing opportunities ahead of a busy and exciting international window.
“We will be closely monitoring the form and fitness of players competing in the Guinness PRO14 over the coming weeks.”
Ulster scrum-half John Cooney has missed out despite appearing off the bench in Ireland’s three matches in the tournament earlier this year.
Farrell’s men are currently fourth in the table, but only four points off joint-leaders England and France and with a game in hand over their title rivals.
Ed Byrne, Shane Daly, Hugo Keenan and Jamison Gibson Park will join up with the national team squad for the first time, while Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, James Lowe, James Tracy and Fineen Wycherley will train with the squad next week at the High Performance Centre in Dublin.
Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Chris Farrell, Jamison Gibson Park, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Kieran Marmion, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale
Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Jack Conan, Caelan Doris, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Peter O’Mahony, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan, John Ryan, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier
Schmidt named World Rugby’s high-performance director
Former Ireland and Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt has been appointed World Rugby’s new Director of Rugby and High Performance and will take up the role from next month, the sport’s ruling body said on Thursday.
Schmidt, 55, guided Ireland to three Six Nations titles during a six-year spell at the helm, including the Grand Slam in 2018. He also oversaw their rise to the summit of the world rankings last year.
He stepped down from his role after the 2019 World Cup, where Ireland were eliminated in the quarter-finals by New Zealand.
New Zealand-born Schmidt also enjoyed a three-year spell with Leinster, guiding them to a PRO12 title, two European Cups and a Challenge Cup.
“We are delighted to appoint a person of Joe’s calibre, expertise and global credibility to this newly-created and strategically important position within the organisation,” World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said.
“It is fantastic to have an individual who has been at the forefront of the high-performance game management evolution at the very highest level for well over a decade.”
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