Six Nations: Andy Farrell announces Irish squad

Published Categorised as 2020-21, International Rugby Men, Ireland Men, Six Nations Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Tom O'Toole goes through his paces in training this week. Image Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

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.

Full squad

Bundee AkiGalwegians/Connacht30
Billy BurnsUlster3
Ross ByrneUCD/Leinster11
Craig CaseyShannon/Munster0
Andrew ConwayGarryowen/Munster24
Shane DalyCork Constitution/Munster1
Keith EarlsYoung Munster/Munster88
Chris FarrellYoung Munster/Munster14
Jamison Gibson-ParkLeinster5
Robbie HenshawBuccaneers/Leinster47
Hugo KeenanUCD/Leinster6
Jordan LarmourSt Mary’s/Leinster24
James LoweLeinster2
Stuart McCloskeyBangor/Ulster4
Conor MurrayGarryowen/Munster87
Garry RingroseUCD/Leinster30
Johnny SextonSt Mary’s/Leinster95
Tadhg BeirneLansdowne/Munster17
Will ConnorsUCD/Leinster5
Caelan DorisSt Mary’s/Leinster7
Ultan DillaneGalway Corinthians/Connacht17
Tadhg FurlongClontarf/Leinster25
Cian HealyClontarf/Leinster104
Dave HeffernanBuccaneers/Connacht5
Iain HendersonAcademy/Ulster58
Rob HerringBallynahinch/Ulster16
Ronan KelleherLansdowne/Leinster6
Dave KilcoyneUL Bohemians/Munster36
Peter O’MahonyCork Constitution/Munster73
Tom O’TooleBanbridge/Ulster0
Andrew PorterUCD/Leinster32
Quinn RouxGalwegians/Connacht16
Rhys RuddockSt Mary’s/Leinster26
James RyanUCD/Leinster32
CJ StanderShannon/Munster46
Josh van der FlierUCD/Leinster28

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