Wednesday 7 December 2016

Joe Schmidt calls up Joey Carbery and Darren Sweetnam

Published 04/10/2016 | 02:30

'Schmidt has a long-standing habit of bringing promising youngsters into the wider squad to get them used to the team environment and systems.' Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
'Schmidt has a long-standing habit of bringing promising youngsters into the wider squad to get them used to the team environment and systems.' Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Leinster's Joey Carbery and Munster's Darren Sweetnam were included in Joe Schmidt's Ireland squad get-together at Carton House yesterday.

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The uncapped duo were surprise inclusions in the extended panel brought together to prepare for the upcoming November internationals.

New Zealand-born out-half Carbery has been the break-out star of the early season, filling the void left by Ian Madigan at the province and starring in their opening fixtures before Johnny Sexton returned to action last weekend.

The 20-year-old caught Schmidt's eye during last season's Ulster Bank League final and impressed Graham Henry during the former All Black coach's stint with Leinster during the summer.

Sweetnam was a late addition to the panel after Fergus McFadden, Dave Kearney and Matt Healy all suffered injuries during last weekend's Pro12 action.

The winger has been one of Munster's best players during the opening weeks of the season and displays all the attributes Schmidt usually looks for in a winger.

Although the IRFU don't announce squad lists for get-togethers, Schmidt brought around 40 players to the Maynooth venue to look ahead to the two meetings with New Zealand as well as games against Australia and Canada.

Carbery and Sweetnam may not see action during the four-week window, but Schmidt has a long-standing habit of bringing promising youngsters into the wider squad to get them used to the team environment and systems.

The camp meant that preparations for this weekend's first interprovincial derbies of the season were disrupted, with each province heavily affected. However, Munster head coach Anthony Foley said he had no problem with the internationals being away so close to the Aviva Stadium meeting with Leinster on Saturday.

"It's the same for all provinces so there is nobody going to benefit out of it," he said.

Irish Independent

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