24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has reduced his autumn Test squad down to 24 players ahead of Saturday week's Lansdowne Road clash with New Zealand.
Injury concerns over Leinster centre/wing Shane Horgan and Llanelli captain Simon Easterby have forced the Irish management to name 24 in the initial squad, instead of 22.
Of the uncapped players added to the squad last week, Ulster trio Rory Best, Neil Best and Andrew Trimble remain. Leinster prop Reggie Corrigan, Leicester lock Leo Cullen and Munster flanker David Wallace, as well as squad newcomers Robert Kearney, Kieran Lewis, Jamie Heaslip and David Quinlan, have been omitted from the 24.
The starting line-up and replacements for the November 12 season opener will be confirmed next Tuesday, November 8 at 12.45pm.
Irish coach O'Sullivan said: "We have two main injury concerns at the moment in Shane Horgan and Simon Easterby, so we have named 24 in the squad to allow them as much time as possible to prove their fitness before we name our team next week.
Shane Horgan picked up a shoulder knock playing in the Heineken Cup last weekend, but we are optimistic that he will be fit to play."
Lions flanker Easterby suffered a broken nose against Toulouse on October 22 and is having his fitness monitored. Easterby trained on Wednesday with a cast over his nose.
O'Sullivan added: "Training has gone well over the last week, and the new faces in the squad have fitted in very well. The other players who have been released will come back into the equation for the games against Australia and Romania."
The reduced squad of 24 players, from which the Ireland team to play New Zealand in the permanent tsb autumn International at Lansdowne Road on Saturday, November 12 (2.30pm), is as follows:
Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Shane Byrne (Saracens), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), Anthony Foley (Shannon/Munster), John Hayes (Bruff/Munster), Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster), Matt McCullough (Ballymena/Ulster), Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Johnny O'Connor (Wasps), Malcolm O'Kelly (St Mary's College/Leinster).
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Kieran Campbell (Dungannon/Ulster), Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster), Anthony Horgan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Shane Horgan (Lansdowne/Leinster), David Humphreys (Dungannon/Ulster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster), Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster).
Not considered due to injury: Guy Easterby (Blackrock College/Leinster), Denis Hickie (St Mary's College/Leinster), Eric Miller (Terenure College/Leinster), Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Brian O'Driscoll (Blackrock College/Leinster), Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster), Frankie Sheahan (Cork Constitution/Munster).
NB 1: Due to injury concerns over Shane Horgan and Simon Easterby, the squad has been extended to 24 players. This will be reduced to 22 when the team to play New Zealand is announced.
NB 2: Players from the preliminary autumn international squad omitted from the above have been released to return to their provinces and clubs and are available for selection.