Joe Schmidt has not gone for whoelsale change in his Irish squad which has just been named. The major inhibitor to players has been injury for instance to players such as Donnacha Ryan and Iain Henderson.
The 34 man squad does include three uncapped players in David Kearney, James Coughlan and Jack McGrath. Whilst Ulster prop Tom Court is included having been excluded back in September. One big name who is not included in the squad is Andrew Trimble this means he misses the games against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium.
Munster lock Ryan will be out until the New Year after suffering ligament damage in last weekend’s Heineken Cup win over Gloucester while Ulster forward Henderson’s toe injury is expected to rule him out for up to six weeks. With the two Munster locks missing, Leinster pair Mike McCarthy and Devin Toner and Ulster’s Dan Tuohy will be the guys pushing to partner Paul O’Connell in the second row.
Even though Simon Zebo is injured, Trimble misses out for the wing spots as there are enough with David Kearney included along with Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls and Fergus McFadden. It seems like Trimble, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Sunday and was omitted from Ireland’s Six Nations squad earlier this year even with producing some outstanding form for Ulster cannot find a way back into national selection.
Eight Ulster players are included with Paddy Jackson, Luke Marshall, Rory Best, Declan Fitzpatrick and Chris Henry named alongside Bowe, Tuohy and Court.
Irish coach Schmidt said:”The squad combines players who have shown form in the domestic season mixed with those who have a proven record at international level”. As always there were some very difficult decisions. Some players have had limited opportunity to impress due to injury and others have performed very well and it was difficult to leave them out. The series will demand plenty from the squad and I know they’ll be motivated by the challenge.”
The squad listed play their match’s on: 9 November v Samoa, Aviva Stadium, 16 November v Australia, Aviva Stadium and 24 November v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium. We expect them to win the first and maybe the second but lose the third against the All Blacks
Ireland squad for Autumn Internationals:
Backs: Isaac Boss (Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), David Kearney (Leinster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
Forwards: Stephen Archer (Munster), Rory Best (Ulster), James Coughlan (Munster), Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Mike Sherry (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster)