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Seven Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad For Barbarians

Seven Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad For Barbarians

The Ireland management team have today announced the squad for the summer tour game against the Barbarians in Gloucester on Tuesday, May 29 (kick-off 7.45pm).

The squad comprises of players from Connacht, Munster and Ulster as none of the teams will have any involvement in the RaboDirect PRO12 final, which takes place in Dublin on Sunday, May 27 – the day before the squad is due to depart Ireland for the Barbarians match.

Any Leinster players that are selected for the Ireland tour to New Zealand and who play in the league decider will join up with the squad in Gloucester.

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The squad itself contains seven uncapped players with experienced internationals Ronan O’Gara, Donncha O’Callaghan and Rory Best providing the spine of the panel.

Front rowers Mike Sherry, Ronan Loughney and Declan Fitzpatrick are included, with Simon Zebo, Craig Gilroy, Nevin Spence and Paul Marshall selected in the backs division.

Two spots have been left open and will be filled next week before the squad travel to Gloucester. The Ireland squad to tour New Zealand will be announced on the Monday following the Heineken Cup final, so it is possible that several players who face the Barbarians may not be part of the final tour squad.

Second row Paul O’Connell was not considered for the Barbarians squad as he continues to make progress in his rehabilitation for a knee injury.

He has not been ruled out of contention and a final decision on his availability will be made after the Barbarians game.

Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said: “The game against the Barbarians is vital for us in our preparations for the tour as it gives some players the chance to gain match fitness if they have not played for a couple of weeks, allows us to further expose some players to the national set-up and also gives us the opportunity to get some foundations in place for the Test series.

“We have a good majority of our selections decided on for the tour party at this point, but the Heineken Cup final on Saturday gives us possibly one last opportunity to watch players in what will be a massive occasion for Irish rugby.”

IRELAND Squad (v Barbarians, Kingsholm, Gloucester, Tuesday, May 29, kick-off 7.45pm):

Backs (11):

Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster) *
Paul Marshall (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) *
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster) *
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
AN Other

Forwards (13):

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster) *
Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster)
Ronan Loughney (Galwegians/Connacht) *
John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht)
Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
Mike Sherry (Garryowen/Munster) *
Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster)
AN Other

* Denotes uncapped player