Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named a squad of 36 players for the opening two rounds of the 2018 NatWest Six Nations Championship.
All three of Ireland’s home games in this year’s Championship are already sold out.
Jordan Larmour has been included in Ireland’s squad for the Six Nations, the 20-year old Leinster back is the only uncapped player among the 36-man panel revealed by Schmidt.
Connacht second row Quinn Roux is one of the more surprising inclusions while there’s a recall for Leinster hooker, Sean Cronin. As expected, there’s no place for the Racing bound Simon Zebo, nor Scarlets and future Munster lock Tadhg Beirne. Ireland begin their Six Nations campaign away to France on February 3rd.
The Ireland head coach commented: “It’s been great to witness some quality performances from provincial teams over the last seven weeks of European and derby matches, with a number of players performing well. There were some very tight decisions but it’s great to see some competitive depth in a number of positions.”
There are a number of players unavailable through injury; Finlay Bealham, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, Rhys Ruddock, Tommy O’Donnell, Luke Marshall, Garry Ringrose, Jared Payne and Craig Gilroy as well as Niall Scannell who is due to return to action in the coming weeks.
Ireland take on France in Paris in their opening fixture before hosting Italy at the Aviva Stadium as Conor O’Shea makes his first visit to Dublin as Italian head coach.
Ireland’s last home fixture of the Six Nations is against Scotland on Saturday, March 10th with the squads final game of the tournament taking place seven days later in Twickenham.