Tuesday 23 January 2018

Players ready for Six Nations test

Connacht's Kieran Marmion Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Connacht's Kieran Marmion Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

With Champions Cup action over for the season and the Pro12 on a fortnight's break, aside from club games, all attention now switches to the international game.

In a week's time the Six Nations gets underway, with all three Irish squads facing trips to Scotland for the first games.

In Joe Schmidt's senior squad the Connacht numbers are down slightly from the November Series, but Tiernan O'Halloran, Kieran Marmion, Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane are all retained in the squad of 40 players.

In Nigel Carolan's 32-man U-20 squad there are just two Connacht representatives. One of them, Sligo's Cillian Gallagher, is among three survivors from last season's memorable run to the Junior World Cup final.

And a call-up has been handed to Sean Masterson from Corinthians, who is also from the Connacht academy. Sean is the younger bother of Connacht senior Eoghan, who made his return from a year-long injury for the Connacht Eagles last week, and Sean is also a former Portlaoise RFC player.

And in the women's game, there were plenty of Connacht representatives in the team that lost 22-14 to Wales in their warm-up game last week.

Mairead Coyne, Allison Miller, Nichola Fryday and Claire Molloy all started, while Mary Healy, Ciara O'Connor and Laura Feely featured from the bench.

Irish Independent

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