Andy Farrell announced a 40 man squad for the five match tour to New Zealand. He spoke yesterday about the value of a tour like this as he said it kicks off Ireland's run in to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Speaking about the squad and the challenge ahead Farrell said, “It’s priceless for us, we will find out more about ourselves , who is going to front up and perform at a level that they probably didn’t think they could perform at. That’s what we’re after, pushing the boundaries.
“Some guys on this tour will fall by the wayside, some guys on this tour will flourish that we didn’t think would flourish because of the extreme pressure. I have no doubt some guys who didn’t make the tour will have an unbelievable pre-season and start next season with a bang and work their way back into this.
Farrell’s 40 man squad included five uncapped players – the Leinster trio of Ciaran Frawley, Joe McCarthy and Jimmy O’Brien, Munster prop Jeremy Loughman and Connacht flanker Cian Prendergast.
There are another 12 players with less than 10 caps and Farrell also pointed out that several players with more caps have not been on a tour. Ireland’s last Summer Tour was in 2018 when they won the Lansdowne Cup with and 2-1 test series victory over Australia. 2019 was a Rugby World Cup year and the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to the 2020 and 2021 tours.