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Rugby Union: Ireland Name Senior Squad Ahead of RBS 6 Nations 2012

IRFU BadgeIreland have named their senior squad, and the squad for their O2 Ireland Wolfhounds squad, ahead of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations Tournament, which begins for Ireland with a home fixture versus Wales on Sunday 5th February 2012.

The 24 man first team squad will train with an additional six players who are yet to win a cap with the Irish, while a further 22 players are named in the Wolfhounds squad, which is to face the England Saxons on Monday 30th January, after which the full Ireland Squad for the RBS 6 Nations 2012 Tournament shall be announced.

Brian O’Driscoll, David Wallace, Darren Cave, Felix Jones, Jerry Flannery, Eoin Griffen, Denis Leamy, and Niall Ronan were all unavailable for selection due to injury.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney said of the squad announcement:

“The Wolfhounds game gives myself and the other coaches one final chance to give games to players to see possible options before we settle on our match day 22 for the opening game. It also gives us the opportunity to have a closer look in training at some of the younger players, rather than bringing in more experienced players, who are very much still in the frame for selection.”

“There have been some strong performances by players with the Provinces going really well. It always gives the squad a good boost when we have teams with players playing well in Europe before we step back up into the international scene.”

Before adding, on the subject of the RBS 6 Nations 2012:

“It’s a new tournament for us and for everybody involved, so irrespective of the highs and lows of the World Cup, it is a fresh and exciting challenge for us. The tournament begins what is big year for us, with a three test tour to New Zealand to come in June and ranking points all important for the Rugby World Cup in 2015, but the Six Nations always stands out as high point.”

Ireland Senior Squad (24 Named)

* denotes uncapped player.

  • Rory Best (Banbridge – Ulster)
  • Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
  • Tom Court (Malone – Ulster)
  • Sean Cronin (St.Mary’s College – Leinster)
  • Leo Cullen (Blackrock College – Leinster)
  • Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne – Leinster)
  • Keith Earls (Young Munster – Munster)
  • Stephen Ferris (Dungannon – Ulster)
  • Cian Healy (Clontarf – Leinster)
  • Jamie Heaslip (Naas – Leinster)
  • Shane Jennings (St.Mary’s College – Leinster)
  • Rob Kearney (UCD – Leinster)
  • Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere – Leinster)
  • Conor Murray (Garryowen – Munster)
  • Sean O’Brien (Clontarf – Leinster)
  • Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution – Munster)
  • Paul O’Connell (Young Munster – Munster)
  • Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution – Munster)
  • Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne – Leinster)
  • Mike Ross (Clontarf – Leinster)
  • Donnacha Ryan (Shannon – Munster)
  • Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College – Leinster)
  • Andrew Trimble (Ballymena – Ulster)
  • Paddy Wallace (Ballymena – Ulster)

Additional players (6):

  • Ian Nagle (Cork Constitution – Munster)*
  • Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution – Munster)*
  • Tiernan O’Halloran (Galwegians – Connacht)*
  • Paddy McAllister (Ballynahinch – Ulster)*
  • Andrew Conway (Blackrock College – Leinster)*
  • Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution – Munster)*

Ireland O2 Wolfhounds Squad (22 Named)

  • Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution – Munster)*
  • Isaac Boss (Terenure College – Leinster)
  • Gavin Duffy (Galwegians – Connacht)
  • Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College – Leinster)
  • Chris Henry (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)
  • Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution – Munster)
  • David Kearney (Lansdowne – Leinster)*
  • Ian Keatley (Young Munster – Munster)
  • Ronan Loughney (Buccaneers – Connacht)*
  • Ian Madigan (Blackrock College – Leinster)*
  • Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers – Connacht)
  • Kevin McLaughlin (St.Mary’s College – Leinster)
  • John Muldoon (Galwegians – Connacht)
  • Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin – Munster)
  • Eoin O’Malley (Old Belvedere – Leinster)*
  • Rhys Ruddock (St.Mary’s College – Leinster)
  • Mike Sherry (Garryowen – Munster)*
  • Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch – Ulster)*
  • Devin Toner (Lansdowne – Leinster)
  • Dan Touhy (Ballymena – Ulster)
  • Damien Varley (Garryowen – Munster)
  • Brett Wilkinson (Galwegians – Connacht)*

Players in the Wolfhounds Squad, who are on the fringes of selection for RBS 6 Nations 2012, have next Monday’s match with England Saxons to impress, and earn themselves a place in the final squad for the tournament, the biggest in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ireland will take to the field in the RBS 6 Nations 2012 on the following dates, culminating with what could be an important home fixture with holders England at the Aviva Stadium:

Sun 5th Feb 1216:00Ireland  v  WalesAviva Stadium
Sat 11th Feb 1221:00France  v  IrelandStade de France
Sat 25th Feb 1214:30Ireland  v  ItalyAviva Stadium
Sat 10th Mar 1218:00Ireland  v  ScotlandAviva Stadium
Sat 17th Mar 1218:00England  v  IrelandTwickenham

(Kick-Off times are in Central European Time (CET) – which is GMT +1)

How do you rate Ireland’s chances for the RBS 6 Nations 2012? Leave your comment below.

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