Shock omissions from Farrell's Ireland squad
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: New Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named a 45-man squad for his first camp since succeeding Joe Schmidt.
Farrell will host what the IRFU are referring to as a “24hour mid-season stocktake” at the union’s new High-Performance Centre in Dublin next week, where Farrell, who worked as defence coach under Schmidt since 2016, will gather his players as head coach for the first time across December 22nd and 23rd.
Yet despite naming a bumper 45-man squad, there is no place for Rob Kearney, Jack Carty, Sean Cronin or Jordi Murphy.
Suggestions that Farrell may look to shake up his team with some new faces are strengthened by the fact he has opted to include a number of uncapped players, with Caolin Blade, Will Connors, Caelan Doris, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ronan Kelleher, Bully Burns, and Tom O’Toole all named.
There is also a call-up for Devin Toner, who was excluded from Ireland’s 31-man World Cup squad. While there were questions surroundings Toner’s international future following that shock omission, his inclusion next week suggests he remains part of Farrell’s plans ahead of the 2020 Six Nations.
“The national coaches have been around the provinces watching games and having good conversations with players and the provincial coaches,” Farrell said.
“We have limited opportunities across the busy provincial season to bring a broad group like this together but this 24hr window will allow us to plant a few seeds. It will also give the coaches a better insight into a few players who been performing consistently well for their provinces.
“The next six weeks is the window for players to put their hands up for selection for our first squad which will be named in late January ahead of the Six Nations.”
Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Ultan Dillane, Dave Heffernan, Quinn Roux
Ross Byrne, Will Connors, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson Park, Cian Healy, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Ronan Kelleher, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Andrew Porter, Garry Ringrose, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier
Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Mike Haley, Dave Kilcoyne, Jean Kleyn, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, Niall Scannell, Rory Scannell, CJ Stander
Will Addison, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey, Marty Moore, Tom O’Toole, Jacob Stockdale