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Rugby

15th Jan 2020

Farrell names 5 new caps and Sexton captain in Six Nations squad

Patrick McCarry

Farrell’s reign has begun.

The Ireland Six Nations squad for the 2020 edition of the storied championship was today announced by new head coach Andy Farrell.

It’s a case of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, although Farrell has wielded the axe on a number of previously untouchable players under Joe Schmidt’s reign. There are no major surprises following Farrell’s ‘Mid-Season Stocktake’, with a number of key players including Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne do miss out due to injury.

There are five uncapped players in the group: Ulster’s Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole and the impressive Leinster trio of Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher link up with the squad for the first time.

Devin Toner returns to the squad after missing out in Japan, along with Jack McGrath, while there are no places for the likes of Rob Kearney, Sean Cronin, Jordi Murphy, Niall Scannell, Rhys Ruddock, Jean Kleyn, Stuart McCloskey or Jack Carty .

Veteran out-half Johnny Sexton has been named as captain, replacing long-time leader Rory Best after the hooker’s retirement following Ireland’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Japan.

Farrell also named four development players; Ryan Baird, Robert Baloucoune, Harry Byrne and Will Connors who will link up with the group at the warm weather camp in Portugal.

Ireland begin their Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland on Saturday February 1st.

Full Squad

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Barry Murphy and Jerry Flannery are in the House of Rugby studio reflect on a tough weekend for three of the Irish provinces, lavish more praise on Leinster and look ahead to Andy Farrell naming his first Ireland squad.