Simon Zebo returns as Ireland announce squad for November internationals
Simon Zebo is back!
Andy Farrell has announced his 38-man Ireland squad for the three upcoming November internationals, and there's a little something in there for everybody.
Johnny Sexton will once again lead Ireland with the only big absence from their 2021 Lions contingent being Robbie Henshaw, who just returned to training with Leinster.
Dan Sheehan and Ciaran Frawley [both Leinster] are the two uncapped players included while Simon Zebo is set for his first playing time in a green jersey since 2017 after his return, in the summer, from Racing 92.
Conor Murray and Iain Henderson are both included, despite neither man having played for their province yet this season. Both men started the season later after being in South Africa with the Lions.
Gavin Coombes, Tom O'Toole, James Hume, Robert Baloucoune, Harry Byrne and Nick Timoney are all included in the squad too.
On the latest House of Rugby URC [LISTEN from 27:30 below], hosts Greg O'Shea, Megan Williams and Jason Hennessy looked ahead to the November games, and the players that could stake a claim for Ireland's starting XV.
"In a few weeks’ time we will face an exciting and well coached Japan team who showed in July what a dangerous team they are," said Andy Farrell.
"New Zealand dominated the Rugby Championship losing just one game while Argentina are battle hardened from playing the southern hemisphere’s Big 3 week in week out over the past two months.
“It would be fantastic to play in front of a full-house at the Aviva Stadium. We had small crowds back in for the games in July and even that made a huge difference to the team and the atmosphere in the stadium."
Thomas Ahern (Munster) and Jamie Osborne (Leinster) will train with the squad as development players during this window.
Ireland face Japan first, on November 6, before taking on the All Blacks on November 13 and welcoming Argentina to the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, November 21.
All games at the Lansdowne Road venue are set to have full capacity after the government confirmed, on Tuesday, they were removing further Covid restrictions from October 22 on.
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY URC: