Munster hooker Jerry Flannery and scrum-half Tomás O’Leary have been named in Declan Kidney’s 43-man Ireland squad having both missed the majority through injury.
Ireland have scheduled a series of pre-season camps throughout June and July, beginning on 27 June in Kildare. Although the majority of the players named in the squad have been involved with Ireland or the Wolfhounds (Ireland A) throughout the season, four players are yet to be capped – Felix Jones, Mike McCarthy, Conor Murray and Brett Wilkinson.
Others returning from injury include Shane Jennings, who suffered a broken arm towards the end of the season, and Tony Buckley who is recovering from shoulder surgery. Both are expected to be fit to begin their conditioning programmes.
However Shane Horgan, Ian Humphries and Nevin Spence have all been left out due to injuries. All three players have had surgery which will prevent them from taking part in the squad’s conditioning schedule, therefore making them unavailable for selection during August’s Guinness Summer Series, and therefore the entire World Cup tournament.
All players will return to their provinces in between the camps to continue working on their fitness and conditioning work, while the Ireland management will work closely with the players throughout the next few months.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney said: “This is the first step in preparation for the Rugby World Cup and the group called into our first camp shows that there is competition for places right across the board. There are players who we have identified as part of the larger Rugby World Cup squad who will not be in the first camp and will be based with their provincial and club fitness staff, but that may change as we go through June and July, so none of that larger group are necessarily out of contention for the final squad”.
“The aim three years ago was to deepen the strength of the squad and there are a number of players that have come through in that time either playing with their provinces or with the Wolfhounds and the Ireland team. There are big challenges ahead for the group with the coming preseason and then five games in August”.
Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht)
Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Geordan Murphy (Leicester)
Conor Murray (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster)
Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks)
Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
Sean Cronin (Leinster)
Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
Shane Jennings (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Michael Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
Damien Varley (Garryown/Munster)
David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
Brett Wilkinson (Galwegians/Connacht)
Not considered due to injury:
Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster) – Knee
Ian Humphries (Ballymena/Ulster) – Shoulder
Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster) – shoulder