Best to captain Ireland in Six Nations

Rory Best will captain Ireland in the Six Nations

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named a 35 man squad for the opening two rounds of the 2016 6 Nations Championship with Rory Best as captain.

Schmidt has named Best as team captain and Jamie Heaslip named as his vice captain.

There are three uncapped players in the forwards – Connacht’s Ultan Dillane, Munster captain CJ Stander and Leinster’s Josh Van Der Flier.

Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey is the other uncapped player in the squad and is named as one of sixteen backs.

Ireland will host Wales in round 1 of the 6 Nations on Sunday 7th February at a sold out Aviva Stadium. In round 2 Ireland travel to Paris to take on France at the Stade de France.

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt commented, “As always there were a number of tight decisions, especially with a number of players not being available to play in recent weeks.”

“Stalwarts such as Mike Ross, Cian Healy and Chris Henry are all likely to return to play over the coming weeks and they, along with some of the other players not included will potentially return to the squad post these first two matches.”

“There are a few new faces but at the same time we have resisted the temptation to include some of the very promising youngsters, allowing them a bit more time to develop as well as the opportunity of further game time with their provinces.

“With plenty of new personnel involved the 6 Nations is going to be incredibly challenging and the players selected will know they will need to be at their best to be competitive.”

 

Players unavailable for selection due to long term injury include: Tommy Bowe, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony and Dan Tuohy.

Ireland Squad 6 Nations 2016 Rounds 1 & 2

Forwards (19)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)*
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) Vice Captain
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
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)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
Stuart McCloskey (McCloskey/Ulster)*
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

*Denotes uncapped player

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