Andy Farrell includes two uncapped players and five Ulstermen in his 36-man squad for the Six Nations which starts a week on Saturday.
Tom O’Toole and Munster’s nippy scrum half Craig Casey are the uncapped players, likely to make their debuts in the upcoming competition. Stuart McCloskey, Billy Burns, Rob Herring and Iain Henderson join O’Toole as the Ulster representatives in the squad.
Henderson is currently injured, but with his previous early returns he’s likely to play a part in the upcoming campaign. Burns will be fighting with Ross Byrne for the back up 10 shirt and I think both deserve another chance to perform in the international arena. With Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose and Bundee Aki all fit, I’m not optimistic that McCloskey will see much action in a green shirt. Jacob Stockdale remains injured and therefore is not named in the squad.
There’s still no room for John Cooney who has been dealt a rough hand after being named to start against Italy before COVID hit and with 21 year old Casey among the players you would forgive Ulster’s maestro for wondering if his boat has sailed.
John Cooney 2020-21
- 52 carries for 363 metres
- 16 clean breaks (most for Ulster)
- 5 tries
- 11 try assists
- 1 MOTM performance v Cardiff Blues
Rhys Ruddock receives a recall after a string of impressive performances in Leinster blue over the last number of months. The back row player often is the linchpin for Leinster during international periods while Dave Kilcoyne made his return from injury at the weekend and also makes his return to the team.
Farrell has opted for only two looseheads in his squad. Andrew Porter has experience in both positions so will no doubt provide cover if needed, however he will be the first choice three especially with Tadhg Furlong only recovering from a long term injury.
|Shane Daly||Cork Constitution/Munster||1|
|Keith Earls||Young Munster/Munster||88|
|Chris Farrell||Young Munster/Munster||14|
|Jordan Larmour||St Mary’s/Leinster||24|
|Johnny Sexton||St Mary’s/Leinster||95|
|Caelan Doris||St Mary’s/Leinster||7|
|Ultan Dillane||Galway Corinthians/Connacht||17|
|Dave Kilcoyne||UL Bohemians/Munster||36|
|Peter O’Mahony||Cork Constitution/Munster||73|
|Rhys Ruddock||St Mary’s/Leinster||26|
|Josh van der Flier||UCD/Leinster||28|