O’Kelly & Dempsey omitted from Ireland squad

Ireland coach Declan Kidney chose to do without two of his most experienced players in Malcolm O’Kelly and Girvan Dempsey when he named on Tuesday his initial squad for next month’s internationals.

Second row O’Kelly, has been capped 92 times by Ireland while his Leinster colleague Dempsey, primarily a full-back, has made 82 Test appearances.

Leicester full-back Geordan Murphy, due to be out with a shoulder injury until the end of the year, is also set to miss the Dublin encounters with Australia, Fiji and world champions South Africa.

There were nine uncapped players named in a 39-man squad, which is expected to be trimmed before the November 14 Test against the Wallabies, including Jonathan Sexton, the fly-half who impressed while starring last season for Leinster in their European Cup-winning campaign.

Six Nations champions Ireland also have ‘A’ games against a Tonga XV and Argentina A and Kidney said: “November represents a challenge on several fronts with three full internationals and two A games against quality opposition, so it will mean that the strength of our resources will be tested.”

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