Ireland coach Declan Kidney has named a 27-man Ireland ‘A’ squad for the 2009 Churchill Cup tournament. Connacht’s John Muldoon will captain the side which inclues six senior-capped players.
The Churchill Cup squad will be captained by John Muldoon and will also be under the national management’s guidance this year to widen the pool of players that the coaches have experience of working with.
The tournament includes teams from Argentina, USA, Canada, Georgia and the England Saxons and will see Ireland ‘A’ play pool games against Canada and Georgia as well as a final game in the tournament play-offs.
The 27-man squad will include players from Leinster following the Heineken Cup final and will also see several from the senior tour also taking part to further their game-time experience.
The squad also includes six senior-capped players with Neil Best, Isaac Boss and Donnacha Ryan amonsgt them.
A number of players from the Ireland senior squad for the north American tour are also included in the ‘A’ panel.
Commenting on the Churchill Cup, Ireland coach Declan Kidney said: “The three games in the Churchill Cup tournament will increase the opportunity for pitch time for players, so we felt that it would be important to bring some players on the senior tour and the Churchill Cup.
“I know that players such as Keith Earls and Darren Cave benefited hugely from their Churchill Cup exposure, so this will be a good opportunity for many of the players who have not been involved before.
“We will be playing Canada for the third time in a year with our third different team as well as playing Georgia, who we faced in the last World Cup, so it will be good exposure for the players to Test level rugby.”
IRELAND ‘A’ Squad (Churchill Cup 2009):
John Andress (Exeter Chiefs)*
Neil Best (Northampton Saints)
Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster)
Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster)
Fionn Carr (Galwegians/Connacht)*
Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)*
James Downey (Northampton Saints)*
Denis Fogarty (Cork Constitution/Munster)*
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)*
Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster)*
Trevor Hogan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution/Munster)*
Felix Jones (Seapoint/Leinster)*
Simon Keogh (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*
Keith Matthews (Buccaneers/Connacht)*
Fergus McFadden (UCD/Leinster)*
John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht)* (capt)
Frank Murphy (Buccaneers/Connacht)*
Johne Murphy (Leicester Tigers)*
Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)*
Niall O’Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)*
Ed O’Donoghue (Instonians/Ulster)*
Niall Ronan (Shannon/Munster)*
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)*
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster)
N.B. *Denotes uncapped at full international level
Ireland Churchill Cup Schedule:
Ireland ‘A’ v Canada, Wednesday, June 10, 4.30pm (local time), Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado
Georgia v Ireland ‘A’, Sunday, June 14, 3.30pm (local time) Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado
Finals Day, Sunday, June 21, Dicks Sporting Goods Park, Denver, Colorado