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Ireland Squad Announcements

Ireland Squad Announcements

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has named his 22-man squad for the opening game of the 2008 RBS 6 Nations against Italy and the Ireland ‘A’ team for the game against the England Saxons at Welford Road on February 1.

There are several new faces named for the first time in a Six Nations match squad. In the forwards, hooker Bernard Jackman and Leinster number 8 Jamie Heaslip are named in the 22 as well as Munster prop Tony Buckley.

Leinster utility back Robert Kearney is the other newcomer to the squad having won his only cap to date during last summer’s tour to Argentina.

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The ‘A’ team named for the game against England Saxons is a mixture of youth and experience and is being used on several levels including providing match time for some internationals, but also giving experience to some younger players. Shane Horgan will captain the Ireland ‘A’ side.

Commenting on the overall selections, Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan said: “The match 22 selection for the Italy game was made on the basis of form and while the response of the all of the squad over the last week has been excellent, there were some tight calls to be made. This will be even harder to do next week when we decide on the final selection for the game.

“The ‘A’ team game allows us the opportunity to give experience to some players at this level and also in particular positions, such as Luke Fitzgerald in the centre as well as Cian Healy and Ryan Caldwell.

“The game also allows us to give other more experienced players who may have not been starting for the provinces or who were returning from injury , such as Shane Horgan, Trevor Hogan and Alan Quinlan, some valuable game time.

“There were a number of senior players not considered for the ‘A’ team as we felt that it would be of less benefit to them as they either had enough experience or already had enough games under their belts,” he added.

IRELAND Squad (v Italy, 2008 RBS 6 Nations, Croke Park, Saturday, February 2, kick-off 2pm):


Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
Simon Easterby (Llanelli Scarlets)
John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
Jamie Heaslip (Clontarf/Leinster)
Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
Bernard Jackman (Clontarf/Leinster)
Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Malcolm O’Kelly (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)


Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers)
Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Eoin Reddan (London Wasps)
Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

Not Considered –

Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster) – Suspension
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) – Injury
Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster) – ‘A’ Team
Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster) – ‘A’ Team

IRELAND ‘A’ Squad (v England Saxons, Welford Road, Leicester, Friday, February 1, kick-off 7.45pm):

15. Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht)
14. John Murphy (Leicester Tigers)
13. Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
12. Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster) (capt)
11. Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
10. Andrew Dunne (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
9. Isaac Boss (Ballymena /Ulster)
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2. Frankie Sheahan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
3. Bryan Young ( Ballymena/Ulster)
4. Trevor Hogan (Shannon/Leinster)
5. Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon/Ulster)
6. Stephen Keogh (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
7. Shane Jennings (St. Mary’s College /Leinster)
8. Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster)


16. Adrian Flavin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
17. Declan Fitzpatrick (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
18. Donncha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
19. David Pollock (Queen’s University/Ulster)
20. Chris Keane (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
21. Niall O’Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
22. Daniel Riordan (Buccaneers/Connacht)

Not Considered –

Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Keith Gleeson (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) – Injury
Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Johnny O’Connor (Corinthians/Connacht)
Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster) – Injury