Ireland opportunity for untried quartet

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has named four uncapped players in his squad for the autumn Tests against New Zealand, Australia and Romania next month. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has named four uncapped players in his squad for the autumn Tests against New Zealand, Australia and Romania next month.

But British & Irish Lions skipper Brian O’Driscoll misses out, as expected, while he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.

O’Driscoll is joined on the casualty list by Denis Hickie, Guy Easterby, Eric Miller and Alan Quinlan, while his fellow Lions Paul O’Connell and Simon Easterby have been selected, subject to them undergoing fitness tests.

The four newcomers are Ulster flanker Neil Best, Leinster’s 21-year-old number eight Jamie Heaslip, Leinster wing Robert Kearney, and Ulster centre Andrew Trimble.

O’Sullivan, meanwhile, has left a vacancy among the backs that will be filled after next weekend’s round of European Cup action.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"The back-row is again an area where competition is high," said O’Sullivan. "Both Jamie and Neil have impressed in their performances so far this season, and Andrew Trimble has slotted in well with Ulster and has also benefited from their good run."

Lock O’Connell (hand) and flanker Easterby (broken nose) will face medical checks before deciding their availability, or otherwise.

O’Connell was due to have a plaster-cast removed from his hand on Tuesday, while Easterby had surgery last weekend after being hurt during Llanelli Scarlets’ European Cup defeat against Toulouse.

Ireland launch their autumn campaign against the All Blacks in Dublin on November 12, followed by successive weekend appointments with Australia and Romania.

Ireland squad for autumn Tests against New Zealand, Australia and Romania:

Backs: T Bowe (Ulster), K Campbell (Ulster), G D’Arcy (Leinster), G Dempsey (Leinster), S Horgan (Leinster), D Humphreys (Ulster), R Kearney (Leinster), K Lewis (Leinster), G Murphy (Leicester), R O’Gara (Munster), D Quinlan (Northampton), P Stringer (Munster), A Trimble (Ulster), one player to be added.

Forwards: N Best (Ulster), S Best (Ulster), S Byrne (Saracens), R Corrigan (Leinster), L Cullen (Leicester), S Easterby (Llanelli Scarlets), A Foley (Munster), J Hayes (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster), M Horan (Munster), M McCullough (Ulster), D Leamy (Munster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), P O’Connell (Munster), J O’Connor (Wasps), M O’Kelly (Leinster), F Sheahan (Munster), D Wallace (Munster).

Previous story All Blacks predict tough tour
Next story Scotland call for Godman
Download