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Ireland Squad Confirmed For Japan Tour

Ireland Squad Confirmed For Japan Tour

Nine uncapped players have been included in the 26-man Ireland squad that will take in two Tests on tour against Japan next month.

Nine uncapped players have been included in the 26-man Ireland squad that will take in two Tests on tour against Japan next month.

With 11 Irish players on tour with the Lions in New Zealand, including Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan and captain Brian O’Driscoll, Niall O’Donovan takes over as coach, with the squad being captained by David Humphreys.

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Amongst the uncapped players, there are several new faces to the Irish squad.

These include Munster second row Trevor Hogan, Leinster’s Kieran Lewis and Conor McPhilips from Connacht as well as Roger Wilson, Matt McCullough, Kieran Campbell, Paddy Wallace (all Ulster), David Quinlan (Leinster) and Bernard Jackman (Connacht), who have all been involved with Irish squads in the past.

The coaching staff also sees two additions for the tour, with Connacht coach Michael Bradley and Ulster coach Mark McCall assisting O’Donovan in the Far East.

Commenting on the selection, O’Donovan said: “With such a high representation on the British & Irish Lions, the squad for Japan gives us a chance to look at players in certain areas. These include the back row and second row, where there is a glut of talent coming through, allowing us to look at options as cover for players such as Anthony Foley and also at scrum half.

“With two tough full international games against Japan, the key to the squad was getting the balance right and given that there are also six players with less then ten caps, the need for experience in key areas of the pack and in the backs was essential.”

The Ireland squad will depart on Saturday, June 4 from their camp in Limerick and will play the first of their two Tests in the 55,000 capacity Nagai Stadium, Osaka on Sunday, June 12 (kick-off 2.00pm local time, 6.00am Irish time). The second Test will take place in Tokyo the following Sunday, June 19 (kick off 2.00pm local time) in the 28,000 capacity Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.

IRELAND SQUAD (Japan Tour 2005):

Forwards (14):

Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 11/02/78, 6 caps
Reggie Corrigan (Greystones/Leinster) 19/11/70, 44 caps
Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster) 09/01/78, 15 caps
Simon Easterby (Llanelli) 21/07/75, 42 caps
Trevor Hogan (Shannon/Munster) 23/09/79, –
Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster) 07/09/77, 28 caps
Bernard Jackman (Clontarf/Connacht) 05/05/76, –
Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster) 27/11/81, 2 caps
Eric Miller (Terenure College/Leinster) 23/9/75, 46 caps
Matt McCullough (Ballymena/Ulster) 09/09/81, –
Johnny O’Connor (Wasps) 09/06/82, 6 caps
Frankie Sheahan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 27/08/76, 22 caps
David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster) 08/07/76, 21 caps
Roger Wilson (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 21/09/81, –

Backs (12):

Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 22/02/84, 1 cap
Kieran Campbell (Dungannon/Ulster) 06/07/79, –
Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster) 02/10/75, 58 caps
Gavin Duffy (NEC Harlequins) 18/09/81, 2 caps
Anthony Horgan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 15/11/76, 4 caps
David Humphreys (Capt) (Dungannon/Ulster) 10/09/71, 67 caps
Kieran Lewis (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 19/08/80, –
Conor McPhillips (St Mary’s College/Connacht) 09/02/81, –
Kevin Maggs (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 03/06/74, 69 caps
David Quinlan (Blackrock College/Leinster) 04/01/78, –
Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster) 13/12/77, 56
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster) 27/08/79, –

Standby (9):

Gary Brown (Blackrock College/Leinster) 01/11/80, –
James Downey (Clontarf/Connacht) 23/03/81, –
Ben Gissing (Clontarf/Leinster) 15/07/75, –
Shane Jennings (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 08/07/81, –
Chris Keane (Buccaneers/Connacht) 25/10/78, –
Ronnie McCormack (Buccaneers/Ulster) 27/04/77, –
Paul Shields (Ballymena/Ulster) 25/09/78, 2 caps

Jeremy Staunton (NEC Harlequins) 07/05/80, 1 cap
Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster) 13/07/74, 21 caps

Not considered due to injury:

John Kelly (Cork Constitution/Munster) 18/04/74, 16 caps

Tour Management:

Niall O’Donovan (Coach)

Joe Miles (Manager)
Michael Bradley (Assistant Coach)

Mark McCall (Assistant Coach)
Mark Tainton (Kicking Coach)

Mike McGurn (Fitness & Conditioning Coach)
Michael Webb (Doctor)
Cameron Steele (Physiotherapist)
Brian Green (Athletic Trainer)
Willie Bennett (Masseur)
Mervyn Murphy (Video Analyst)
Paddy O’Reilly (Baggagemaster)
Karl Richardson (Communications and Media Manager)