Four Connacht players named in Ireland squad for Guinness Series internationals

24 October 2018

Four Connacht players named in Ireland squad for Guinness Series internationals
Bundee Aki, Kieran Marmion, Quinn Roux and Finlay Bealham have been named in a 39-man Ireland squad for the upcoming Guinness Series November Internationals.

Aki has been a mainstay in the Ireland setup since his international debut in the 2017 November series and started all five games in the Grand Slam winning Six Nations campaign. Marmion has also been a regular feature in the squad, gaining 22 caps since making his Ireland debut in 2014.

The forward pair of Roux and Bealham both made their Ireland debuts, with Quinn making his international debut during the tour of South Africa. Finlay's first appearance came a number of months earlier against Italy in the Six Nations. Together they have played in six and seven Irish games respectively.

First up for Ireland is a return to Soldier Field on November 3rd to face Conor O'Shea's Italy as part of a triple header Rugby Weekend in Chicago.

The Guinness Series 2018 kicks off in Aviva Stadium with the visit of Argentina on Saturday, November 10th. The Pumas, under the direction of Mario Ledesma, have recently recorded victories over Australia (23-19) and South Africa (32-19) in the Rugby Championship.

Ireland and Argentina have met 17 times at test match level with Ireland winning 11 of those, the most recent a 28 - 19 win in last season's Guinness Series.

Rugby Championship winners New Zealand return to Dublin a week later for the first time since claiming a hard fought win in 2016.

The final game of the series sees Ireland host USA for the first time in Aviva Stadium. The teams last met in June 2017 as part of the summer tour.

Speaking about the squad Head Coach Joe Schmidt said, "As always there have been a number of close calls in selection, meaning that some very good players have missed out in this particular window.

The upcoming Guinness Series offers an exciting opportunity for the squad but will also be very challenging. We are certainly looking forward to getting back to a packed Aviva Stadium with the fantastic support that we get there."

The Rugby Weekend fixture against Italy will be broadcast by Eir and Premier Sports and the Guinness Series games will be broadcast by RTE TV & Radio and Channel 4.

Ireland Squad (Guinness Series 2018, The Rugby Weekend 2018):

Player/Club/Province/Caps -

Forwards (24):
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 111 (Captain)
Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 7
Tadhg Beirne (Munster) 2
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 9
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 62
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 26
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 81
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 39
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 6
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 22
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 10
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 50
Jordi Murphy (Ulster) 23
Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster) 51
Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 50 (Vice-Captain)
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 8
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 6
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster) 19
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 11
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 15
Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 9
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 26
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 60
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 10

Backs (18):
Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) *
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 9
Sam Arnold (Garryowen/Munster) *
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) *
Joey Carbery (Munster) 12
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 7
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 2
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 70
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 36
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 86
Jordan Larmour (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 6
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 22
Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster) 2
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 6
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 14
Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 76 (Vice-Captain)
Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 11
Darren Sweetnam (Cork Constitution/Munster) 2