Ireland squad named for opening rounds of 2016 RBS 6 Nations

The Ireland Coaching Group have named a 35 man squad for the opening two rounds of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship.  22-year-old lock Ultan Dillane has been included as one of four uncapped players in the squad, joining his Connacht team mates Nathan White, Kieran Marmion and Robbie Henshaw.

Ireland will host Wales in round 1 of the Championship on Sunday 7th February at a sold out Aviva Stadium.  In round 2, Ireland travel to Paris to take on France at the Stade de France.  Ireland’s remaining 6 Nations home games against Italy and Scotland are also sold out.

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt commented, “As always there were a number of tight decisions, especially with a number of players not being available to play in recent weeks.  Stalwarts such as Mike Ross, Cian Healy and Chris Henry are all likely to return to play over the coming weeks and they, along with some of the other players not included will potentially return to the squad post these first two matches.

There are a few new faces but at the same time we have resisted the temptation to include some of the very promising youngsters, allowing them a bit more time to develop as well as the opportunity of further game time with their provinces.

With plenty of new personnel involved the Championship is going to be incredibly challenging and the players selected will know they will need to be at their best to be competitive.”

The Ireland team will host two open training sessions during the 6 Nations where fans can watch the team train and meet the players.  The first open session takes place in the Aviva Stadium on Friday 29th January with the second taking place in Mullingar RFC on Friday 19th February.  Both open sessions are ticketed events with details on how to access tickets available on the IRFU website.

Players unavailable for selection due to long term injury include: Tommy Bowe, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony and Dan Tuohy.

IRELAND 2016 RBS 6 Nations Squad Round 1 & 2

Forwards (19)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (c)
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)*
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) (vc)
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
CJ Stander (Munster)*
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)*
Nathan White (Connacht)

Backs (16)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)*
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

*Denotes uncapped player



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