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Sexton to lead 37-man Ireland squad with two uncapped players

Sexton to lead 37-man Ireland squad with two uncapped players

Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named a 37-man training squad for the 2022 Guinness Six Nations that includes two uncapped players and is captained by fly-half Johnny Sexton.

Ulster full-back Michael Lowry and Connacht winger Mack Hansen could make their international debuts during the Championship with fellow back three star James Lowe of Leinster ruled out for a number of weeks with a muscle injury.

Both players have been included in the extended squad having spent time training with Farrell’s side previously, Hansen was involved with the team during the Autumn Nations Series and Lowry was part of the environment during the summer.

Ireland kick off their campaign at home to defending champions Wales and will also welcome Italy and Scotland to the Aviva Stadium.

Farrell’s side, who finished third in last year’s Championship, also face tricky trips to Paris and London to face France and England.

If he makes four appearances in this year’s Championship Keith Earls could win his 100th cap, joining his skipper Sexton who became a centurion in the 60-5 win over Japan in the Autumn Nations Series, while prop Dave Kilcoyne can bring up his half-century if he features in every game.

After naming his squad, which also includes Connacht’s Cian Prendergast as a development player, Farrell said: “In November we challenged the group to get up to speed quickly so that the team could perform at international level.

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“The same will apply for this Six Nations campaign, we need to be at our best against Wales on the opening weekend.

“We have a strong squad with competition for places across the board, there is a nice blend of experienced internationals and guys who have had their first taste of this level in the past 12 months.

“The games in November gave us a good foundation to build on and areas where we know we will have to improve.

“It will be an exciting Championship with so many strong squads and impressive performances across the board during the autumn.”

Ireland’s 2022 Guinness Six Nations squad

Backs (17)

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 33 caps

Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 2 caps

Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 27 caps

Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 10 caps

Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 4 caps

Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 27 caps

Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 96 caps

Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 12 caps

Mack Hansen (Connacht) uncapped

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 53 caps

James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap

Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 16 caps

Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps

Michael Lowry (Ulster/Banbridge) uncapped

Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 92 caps

Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps

Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 101 caps CAPTAIN

 

Forwards (20)

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 6 caps

Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 18 caps

Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 25 caps

Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 22 caps

Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps

Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 12 caps

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 52 caps

Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 112 caps

Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 65 caps

Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 23 caps

Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 16 caps

Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps

Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 79 caps

Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 2 caps

Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps

James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps

Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 2 caps

Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps

Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 3 caps

Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 35 caps

Development Player

Cian Prendergast (Connacht)