Ireland name Six Nations squad

Ireland have named six uncapped players in a 35-man squad for their upcoming final two fixtures of the 2020 Six Nations campaign.

The squad, to be captained by flyhalf Johnny Sexton, have six uncapped players – Ryan Baird, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Shane Daly, Hugo Keenan and Jamison Gibson Park.

While Baird and Connors have been involved in national camps before it will be their first time with the national squad for the other uncapped players. Daly and Keenan have both spent time in the Ireland sevens squad and have built on this experience to secure starting berths for their provinces.

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The squad include three South African-born players with experienced Munster No 8 CJ Stander as well as Connacht lock Quinn Roux and Ulster hooker Rob Herring, who helped the team into the PRO14 final last season.

In addition, Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, James Lowe, James Tracy and Fineen Wycherley will train with the squad next week at IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin.

Ireland take on Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 24 October before facing France in Paris the following Saturday (31 October).

Ireland currently sit fourth on the Six Nations table, one point behind Scotland and four points behind England and France who have all played an extra game. Back in February, Ireland recorded wins over Scotland (19-12) and Wales (24-12) before losing to England (12-24) at Twickenham.

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‘There has been a huge effort right across Irish Rugby to ensure that the professional game could return safely and that work is greatly appreciated by the national management,’ Ireland coach Andy Farrell said.

‘We have protocols in place to safeguard the welfare of the players and staff and are looking forward to completing the Six Nations Championships. We have two competitions to play in over the coming months but will focus first on a strong finish to the Six Nations Championship.’

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Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images