Five new faces in 40-man Ireland squad to tour New Zealand
Some fresh faces sprinkled in with proven performers and veterans making their final tour to 'The Land of the Long White Cloud'.
Andy Farrell has announced his Ireland squad for the five-match summer tour to New Zealand.
The Ireland coach has named a 40-man squad to face New Zealand in three Tests, with two midweek games against the Maori All Blacks.
There are five uncapped players included in a squad that will be captained by Johnny Sexton. The lucky quarter are Ciaran Frawley, Joe McCarthy, Jeremy Loughman, Jimmy O'Brien and Cian Prendergast.
IRELAND SQUAD FOR NEW ZEALAND
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
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
Robert Baloucoune, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell and Rónan Kelleher have been ruled out of the Tour through injury.
"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," said Andy Farrell. "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.”
One of the players heading on tour for the first time with Ireland, this summer, is Connacht winger Mack Hansen. He was the special guest on the latest House of Rugby URC episode [LISTEN from 1:30 below] and he spoke of what challenges the All Blacks will present.
Mack Hansen does not believe the recent United Rugby Championship knock-out stage defeats for Munster and Ulster, and Leinster falling short in pursuit of two trophies, will take the edge off Ireland as they head to New Zealand.
"Even though it didn't go to plan [last weekend] for Leinster or Ulster, they are too good of players to let it keep them down. If anything, it will make them a lot hungrier to do well in New Zealand."
Asked if he was looking forward to pitting his attacking and defensive wits against the likes of Sevu Reece and Will Jordan, Hansen joked, "I'd prefer to be facing neither!"