Sexton, Murray back in Ireland frame
SQUAD UPDATE: Ireland coach Andy Farrell rushed back some big names ahead of his team’s trip to Rome and a crucial clash with Italy.
Both teams are looking for their first win of the 2021 season.
The Ireland coach named a 36-man squad for the Round Three encounter, including the three key players who missed out on the defeat to France with injury: Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and James Ryan.
Farrell resisted the temptation to bring Harry Byrne and Gavin Coombes into his squad, despite the team’s struggles this year.
With Peter O’Mahony still suspended, while both Caelan Doris and Jacob Stockdale still injured, Munster back row forward Coombes was on the wish list of many pundits.
The same applied to Connacht’s in-form wing Alex Wootton and Leinster flyhalf Harry Byrne – both also not included.
Ireland, in a statement, confirmed there were no significant injury concerns for the players who featured for their provinces in the Pro14 over the weekend and all 12 are fit to return to national camp.
Backs: Bundee Aki, Billy Burns, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Jamison Gibson Park, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton.
Forwards: Ryan Baird, Tadhg Beirne, Ed Byrne, Jack Conan, Will Connors, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier.