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Keatley’s inclusion in Irish 6 Nations squad is fully deserved

THE inclusion of Munster out-half Ian Keatley has been warmly welcomed in the province. Also in the squad of 36 players for the opening two rounds of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship are Munster players Dave Kilcoyne, CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony and John Ryan in the forwards while Conor Murray, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Keith Earls and Rory Scannell with Keatley are part of the backs selection.
A number of other Munster players must also have been in the reckoning, particularly Simon Zebo whose name appears to have fallen off Joe Schmidt’s list of options since he announced his imminent departure for the greener fields of France. It is strange situation. Zeebs has been playing well all season, there has never been a doubt about his commitment to the green jersey and, sadly, it looks as if his international days are fading (at least until a new coach comes on board).
It is also great to see Rory Scannell included. He one of the most unassuming, hard-working and talented centres in the country. His ability to make those precious yards, strength in defence and overall footballing ability with a golden left boot, make him a key player with Munster. He shines continually when the chips are down, particularly in crucial games, and off the field a most unassuming pro.
IRELAND squad 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship Squad Rounds 1 & 2
FORWARDS (20)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c 106 caps
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 5 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 56 caps
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 11 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 19 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 73 caps
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 34 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 cap
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 22 caps
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 42 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 18 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 42 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 3 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 11 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 18 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 53 caps
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
BACKS (16)
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 2 caps
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 6 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 62 caps
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 2 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 31 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 78 caps
Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster) 7 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster)*
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 18 caps
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 32 caps
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 6 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 59 caps
Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 68 caps
Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 3 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 4 caps
*Denotes Uncapped Player
Supporters can get all the news from the Ireland camp via the IRFU’s website and social media channels. Follow us on.
IRELAND 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship Fixtures
France v IRELAND
Saturday 3rd February, 2018
Stade de France, KO 16.45
IRELAND v Italy
Saturday 10th February, 2018
Aviva Stadium, KO 14.15
IRELAND v Wales
Saturday 24th February, 2018
Aviva Stadium
IRELAND v Scotland
Saturday 10th March, 2018
Aviva Stadium, KO 14.15
England v IRELAND
Saturday 17th March, 2018
Twickenham Stadium, KO 14.45

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