Saturday 24 February 2018

Joe Schmidt ignores top two Pro12 try-scorers as big names miss out on Ireland's summer squad

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Joe Schmidt has named a 32-man squad for June's three test tour of South Africa, with two uncapped players included.

Ulster back row Sean Reidy and Connacht second row Quinn Roux have both been named, with the former having played his way into the squad in recent weeks after a number of powerful displays with his province.

Some big names did miss out, however, with Bordeaux-bound Ian Madigan and centre Stuart McCloskey both absent from the squad list.

The IRFU listed Cian Healy, Denis Buckley, Nathan White, Josh van der Flier, Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Conway and Simon Zebo as unavailable.

Read more: 'He could transform Irish rugby': One pundit can't wait until Connacht star is Irish qualified

Other notable absentees include flanker's Tommy O'Donnell (Munster) and Chris Henry (Ulster), young centre Garry Ringrose (Leinster) and the top two try-scorers in the Pro12, Craig Gilroy (Ulster) and Matt Healy (Pro12).

Joe Schmidt gave an inkling as to his thinking behind some of the omissions in a statement released along with the squad.

"Touring South Africa will be arduous to say the least so we've attempted to prioritise players who are currently as close to full fitness as possible," he said.

"In what is always a difficult balancing act, we've taken a long term view with a number of players who need a rest or will benefit from a full pre-season.”

Ireland's first test take place on Saturday June 11th.

Here is the full squad:

Ireland Squad for 2016 Summer Tour of South Africa

Forwards (18)

Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (c)

Sean Cronin (St Marys/Leinster)

Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)

Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)

Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) (vc)

Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster)

Jack McGrath (St Marys/Leinster)

Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Sean Reidy (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)*

Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)

Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht)*

Rhys Ruddock (St Marys/Leinster)

Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)

CJ Stander (Munster)

Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)

Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)


Backs (14)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)

Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock/Leinster)

Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)

Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)

David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)

Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)

Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)

Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)

Jared Payne (Ulster)

Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster)

Jonathan Sexton (St Marys/Leinster)

Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)

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