Ireland name squad to face the Barbarians

Ireland have named their squad for the summer tour game against the Barbarians in Gloucester on May 29th made up of players from Connacht, Munster and Ulster.

Players from Leinster have not been included due to their involvement in the Pro 12 final, which takes place in Dublin on Sunday, 14th May the day before the squad is due to depart Ireland for the Barbarians game.

Any Leinster players that are selected for the Ireland tour to New Zealand and who play in the Pro12 final will join up with the squad in Gloucester.

The squad itself contains seven uncapped players with experienced internationals Ronan O’Gara, Donncha O’Callaghan and Rory Best providing the spine of the squad. Front row forwards Mike Sherry, Ronan Loughney and Declan Fitzpatrick are included, with Simon Zebo, Craig Gilroy, Nevin Spence and Paul Marshall in the backs.

Two spots have been left open and will be filled next week before the team travel to Gloucester. The Ireland squad to tour New Zealand will be announced on the Monday following the Heineken Cup final, so it is possible that several players who face the Barbarians may not be part of the final tour squad.

Second Row Paul O’Connell was not considered for the Barbarians squad as he continues to make progress in his rehabilitation for a knee injury. He has not been ruled out of contention and a final decision on his availability will be made after the Barbarians game.

Ireland Coach Declan Kidney said: “The game against the Baa-Baa’s is vital for us in our preparations for the tour as it gives some players the chance to gain match fitness if they have not played for a couple of weeks, allows us to further expose some players to the national set up and also gives us the opportunity to get some foundations in place for the test series.

“We have a good majority of our selections decided on for the tour party at this point, but the Heineken final gives us possibly one last opportunity to watch players in what will be a massive occasion for Irish Rugby.”

Forwards (13):
Rory Best (Banbridge-Ulster)
Tom Court (Malone-Ulster)
Stephen Ferris (Dungannon-Ulster)
Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon-Ulster)
Chris Henry (Belfast Harlequins-Ulster)
Ronan Loughney (Galwegians-Connacht)
John Muldoon (Galwegians-Connacht)
Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution-Munster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution-Munster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon-Munster)
Mike Sherry (Garryowen-Munster)
Dan Tuohy (Ballymena-Ulster)

Backs (11):
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins-Ulster)
Keith Earls (Young Munster-Munster)
Craig Gilroy (Dungannon-Ulster)
Paul Marshall (Ballynahinch-Ulster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen-Munster)
Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution-Munster)
Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch-Ulster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena-Ulster)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena-Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution)
A.N. Other

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