19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
The Ireland 'A' squad that will take part in the Barclays Churchill Cup in the USA and Canada next month contains nine players who are uncapped at 'A' level in the 28-man touring party.
The squad also contains only five full internationals with ten caps in total between Roger Wilson, Matt McCullough, Kieran Lewis, Trevor Hogan and David Quinlan. The side will be captained by Leicester back row Shane Jennings.
The Ireland 'A' side played two matches in February and March, losing 20-12 to France in Limoges, but they then turned this defeat around to beat a strong England 'A' outfit 33-18 in Gloucester. Ireland 'A', who will be coached by Connacht's Michael Bradley, will play three games during the tournament, kicking off against the United States on June 3.
...Shane Jennings will skipper the Ireland 'A' side during the Churchill Cup...
Commenting on the Churchill Cup, coach Bradley said: "Our opening game against a USA team playing at home will certainly be a stern test for us and we will need to gel together quickly so we can put in a performance. Our second game against New Zealand Maoris will be as tough as they come. When you consider that this time last year they beat the Lions, you can see what a tough challenge they are."
He continued: "In saying that, our own performance against England on our last outing has given us a great confidence, but also a bench mark for us to start from. The tournament is a great opportunity for the players to not only develop their own games, but also push their own international credentials. It is a great chance for them to gain international experience against quality opposition."
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said: "This tour will be very important for strengthening our overall depth in key positions. The squad is selected on a developmental basis and is about exposing players to a higher level of international rugby and giving them a platform to improve."
IRELAND 'A' 2006 CHURCHILL CUP SQUAD:
Player / Senior Caps / A Caps
Bryn Cunningham (Dungannon/Ulster) 0 (3)
Ian Dowling (Shannon/Munster) 0 (1)
John Hearty (Galwegians/Connacht) 0 (1)
Eoghan Hickey (UCD/Leinster) 0 (0)
Chris Keane (Buccaneers/Connacht) 0 (2)
Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 0 (1)
Simon Keogh (Harlequins) 0 (0)
Mossie Lawlor (Shannon/Munster) 0 (2)
Kieran Lewis (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 1 (3)
Andrew Maxwell (Ballymena/Ulster) 0 (0)
Tomas O'Leary (Dolphin/Munster) 0 (2)
David Quinlan (Northampton) 2 (1)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster) 0 (8)
Brian Blaney (Terenure College/Leinster) 0 (1)
Damien Browne (Northampton) 0 (0)
Tom Court (Ballymena/Ulster) 0 (0)
Declan Fitzpatrick (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 0 (0)
John Fogarty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 0 (2)
David Gannon (Buccaneers/Connacht) 0 (0)
Jamie Heaslip (Clontarf/Leinster) 0 (2)
Ray Hogan (Galwegians/Connacht) 0 (2)
Trevor Hogan (Shannon/Munster) 2 (2)
Shane Jennings (Leicester) (Captain) 0 (3)
John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht) 0 (0)
Ronan McCormack (UCD/Leinster) 0 (4)
Matt McCullough (Ballymena/Ulster) 4 (3)
Neil McMillan (Ballymena/Ulster) 0 (0)
Roger Wilson (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 1 (3)