The star All Blacks didn't want gets shot with Ireland
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: New Zealander James Lowe could soon be wearing the Ireland jersey.
The Ireland coaching team have named a 35-player squad to complete the final two rounds of the 2020 Six Nations Championships.
The squad which will be captained by Johnny Sexton contains six uncapped players – Ryan Baird, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Shane Daly, Hugo Keenan and Jamison Gibson-Park.
In addition, Lowe, who becomes eligible for Ireland in November, will train with the squad next week at IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin.
Lowe, a star performer for the Chiefs in New Zealand before he moved to Ireland, was constantly overlooked for All Blacks selection. He is now set to get an opportunity for Ireland in the Nations Cup starting in November.
Another Kiwi, scrumhalf Gibson-Park, could make his debut for Ireland sooner in the upcoming Six Nations games.
Ireland take on Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, October 24 before facing France in Paris the following Saturday in the Six Nations.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) October 8, 2020
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.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell commented: “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. 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 Championships. The return to rugby has not been without its challenges as some players have suffered injury setbacks and there has been limited playing opportunities ahead of a busy and exciting international window. We will be closely monitoring the form and fitness of players competing in the Pro14 over the coming weeks.
Ireland Squad 2020 Six Nations Championships Round Four & Five:
Backs (16): Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Chris Farrell, Jamison Gibson Park, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Kieran Marmion, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton (captain), Jacob Stockdale.
Forwards (19): Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Jack Conan, Caelan Doris, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Peter O’Mahony, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan, John Ryan, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier.
Training with squad w/c 12th October: Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, James Lowe, James Tracy, Fineen Wycherley.