Farrell names Ireland squad for tour of New Zealand

Jonathan Sexton during the national anthem 1/2/2020
Ireland’s extended 40-strong squad for their tour of New Zealand, their first tour since their 2018 triumph over Australia, has been named by Andy Farrell today.

Ireland’s extended 40-strong squad for their tour of New Zealand, their first tour since their 2018 triumph over Australia, has been named by Andy Farrell today.

Johnny Sexton will captain the squad for the five-match tour in which they will face New Zealand three times and the Māori All Blacks twice.

Farrell emphasised the tour’s role in Ireland’s preparations for the World Cup next year, with five uncapped players included – Ciaran Frawley, Joe McCarthy, Jimmy O’Brien (all Leinster), Jeremy Loughman (Munster) and Cian Prendergast (Connacht).

It has been ten years since Ireland toured New Zealand and they have never recorded a victory over the All Blacks on their home soil, coming closest in a 22-19 defeat in Christchurch in 2012.

Only five players survive that last tour to New Zealand, with Keith Earls, Cian Healy, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and Sexton providing a wealth of experience to Farrell’s travelling party.

The latter three toured New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in 2017 alongside Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Robbie Henshaw.

Farrell said: “This is the start of our Rugby World Cup campaign and it is going to be a fantastic challenge for our group facing five massive tests across the three weeks.

“Due to Covid we haven’t had an opportunity to tour and touring plays a massive role in teams gelling together and building cohesion on and off the field.

“This group could also be the last to play a Test series in New Zealand which makes it even more special.

“We will learn so much about the players and the group as a whole as we have to front up for five incredibly tough fixtures, far from the comforts of home and in grounds where the home support will greatly outnumber travelling Irish fans.”

The three Test matches against New Zealand will take place in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington and two fixtures against the Māori All Blacks will be held in Hamilton ahead of the first Test and in Wellington following the second Test.

Farrell has also named a further 12 players included who have won less than ten caps for Ireland – Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, Mack Hansen, James Hume, Michael Lowry, Ryan Baird, Dave Heffernan, Tom O’Toole, Dan Sheehan, Nick Timoney and Kieran Treadwell.

Robert Baloucoune, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell and Ronan Kelleher have been ruled out of the tour through injury.

Connacht’s Senior Coach Peter Wilkins will join the national coaching group for the duration of the tour to assist in team preparation.

The full Ireland 2022 Summer Tour Squad is as follows:

Backs (18)

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 37 caps

Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) 2 caps

Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 32 caps

Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 5 caps

Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 96 caps

Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/Skerries) uncapped

Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 17 caps

Mack Hansen (Connacht) 4 caps

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 57 caps

James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 3 caps

Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 20 caps

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

James Lowe (Leinster) 12 caps

Michael Lowry (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap

Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 96 caps

Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) uncapped

Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 42 caps

Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 105 caps CAPTAIN

Forwards (22)

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps

Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 23 caps

Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 30 caps

Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 27 caps

Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps

Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 17 caps

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 57 caps

Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 116 caps

Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 6 caps

Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps

Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 26 caps

Jeremy Loughman (Munster/Garryowen) uncapped

Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin) uncapped

Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 84 caps

Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 2 caps

Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 43 caps

Cian Prendergast (Connacht) uncapped

James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 43 caps

Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 7 caps

Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps

Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 5 caps

Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps