Wednesday 23 May 2018

Munster's Jack O'Donoghue called into Ireland squad for final two Six Nations games

Jack O'Donoghue was in action for Munster against the Dragons over the weekend
Jack O'Donoghue was in action for Munster against the Dragons over the weekend

Nick Purewal

Ireland have added uncapped Munster flanker Jack O'Donoghue to their squad for the final two RBS 6 Nations fixtures against Italy and Scotland.

The 22-year-old will boost head coach Joe Schmidt's back-row resources, with influential flanker Sean O'Brien sidelined for the remainder of the competition through hamstring trouble.

Former Ireland Under-20s star O'Donoghue adds depth to Ireland's loose forward stocks, with Jordi Murphy and Tommy O'Donnell also in the 35-man training squad.

CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip and Rhys Ruddock were the four back-row forwards selected for the match squad in Ireland's 21-10 defeat to England at Twickenham on February 27.

That quartet will feature strongly across Ireland's final two fixtures, with Schmidt's men still seeking their first victory in this year's tournament.

Ireland have targeted two wins from their final two matches to claw back some pride and avoid slipping from two-time reigning champions to also-rans.

Despite the pressing need for victories, boss Schmidt may yet decide to mix up selection with one eye on long-term development, hence O'Donoghue's addition to the squad.

Connacht prop Finlay Bealham is the only other uncapped member of Ireland's squad ahead of Saturday's clash with Italy in Dublin.

Among those to miss the cut were the Ulster duo of Chris Henry and Rob Herring.

Here is the squad list in full:

Forwards (19)

Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)*

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c

Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)

David Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster)

Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)

Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) vc

Jack McGrath (St Mary's College/Leinster)

Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)

Jack O'Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster)*

Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)

Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster)

Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)

CJ Stander (Munster)

Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)

Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)

Nathan White (Connacht)


Backs (16)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)

Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster)

Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)

Patrick Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)

Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)

Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)

Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)

Jared Payne (Ulster)

Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster)

Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster)

Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)

Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)


*denotes uncapped player

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