Friday 20 October 2017

Eight uncapped players included in Joe Schmidt's 31-man Ireland squad for summer tour

Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt

Ireland have named eight uncapped players in a 31-man squad for their summer tour of the United States and Japan.

John Cooney, Dave Heffernan, Rory O'Loughlin, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Rory Scannell, Jacob Stockdale and Kieran Treadwell are all in contention to win their first caps.

Ireland will start their three-match tour against the US Eagles at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on June 10.

They will then play 2019 World Cup hosts Japan in Shizuoka and Tokyo on June 17 and 24.

"With 11 players due to tour with the British and Irish Lions, plus a number of injuries to experienced internationals, the summer tour squad includes plenty of youth," Ireland coach Joe Schmidt told www.irishrugby.ie.

"There is a real freshness to the group, including the coaching staff, so we're looking forward to what will be a very challenging summer tour.

"We have retained a sprinkling of experienced players, some of whom may yet be called up to the Lions.

"But the focus is really on challenging the younger players to cope with the heat and foreign conditions, as well as the speed and physicality of Test rugby."

Schmidt will add an additional player to the squad following this weekend's Guinness PRO12 semi-finals involving Leinster and Munster.

The tour will also see three young Irish coaches spend time with the national team.

Racing 92's Ronan O'Gara will attend the American leg, Leinster's Girvan Dempsey will be with the group for the first week in Japan, and Munster's Felix Jones the final week in Tokyo.

Ireland squad: Backs - J Carbery (Leinster), A Conway (Munster), J Cooney (Connacht), K Earls (Munster), P Jackson (Ulster), K Marmion (Connacht), L Marshall (Ulster), L McGrath (Leinster), T O'Halloran (Connacht), R O'Loughlin (Leinster), G Ringrose (Leinster), R Scannell (Munster), J Stockdale (Ulster), S Zebo (Munster).

Forwards - F Bealham (Connacht), J Conan (Leinster), C Healy (Leinster), D Heffernan (Connacht), D Kilcoyne (Munster), D Leavy (Leinster), T O'Donnell (Munster), J O'Donoghue (Munster), A Porter (Leinster), R Ruddock (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster), John Ryan (Munster), N Scannell (Munster), D Toner (Leinster), J Tracy (Leinster), K Treadwell (Ulster), J van der Flier (Leinster).

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