South African-born lock Jean Kleyn has been included in Ireland’s 44-man training squad in preparation for the World Cup in Japan later this year.
Kleyn, who is one of two uncapped players along with Mike Haley, was named in the extended squad despite only qualifying to play for Ireland in September on the three-year residency rule, having joined Munster in 2016.
Kleyn’s compatriots, CJ Stander and Rob Herring, have also been named in the group.
Capped Leinster duo Dan Leavy and Sean O’Brien were not considered for selection due to injury, with some players likely to miss the World Cup altogether.
‘The provinces have done a great job throughout the season with all four of them being involved in two sets of playoffs,’ said coach Joe Schmidt.
‘There were some very close calls in selection and it’s always a challenging process because the coaching group are very conscious of how hard the players work. It’s ideal that they get a good opportunity to relax for a few weeks before getting stuck into pre-season training and the busy “Guinness Series” in the lead up to the World Cup.
‘Some players have missed out through injury and there are one or two guys that may be added to the squad at a later stage.’
Forwards – Finlay Bealham, Rory Best, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Sean Cronin, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Jean Kleyn, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter O’Mahony, Andrew Porter,Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier.
Backs – Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway, John Cooney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Mike Haley, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Kieran Marmion, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray,Garry Ringrose, Rory Scannell, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.
Photo: Munster Rugby