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The call-up of Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue is well deserved

ANDY Farrell has named a 35 player squad which will be captained by Johnny Sexton for the upcoming 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championships. Munster players included are Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Dave Kilcoyne, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Jack O’Donoghue. Two others, Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne, were not considered because of injuries. It is particularly satisfying to see that Jack O’Donoghue (pictured) is included. The UL Bohemian player has been in mighty form this season and had another super game in Paris last Sunday.
There are no call-ups for Rory and Niall Scannell, Mike Haley and Jean Kleyn (who had a scan on his neck this week) while Jonathan Sexton’s return rules out any hopes that the in-form JJ Hanrahan may have had. There are five uncapped players named in Ulster’s Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole and the Leinster trio Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher.
The coaching group have also named four development players Ryan Baird, Robert Baloucoune, Harry Byrne and Will Connors who will train with the squad at the warm weather camp in Portugal and in the lead up to the opening game against Scotland.
Andy Farrell, Ireland head coach commented: “At the get-together in December we challenged the players to put their hands up for selection and the coaches are really pleased with the performances in recent weeks.
“As we progress through the Championship we will look to select sides that we believe are best suited to the task at the weekend. We will keep a close eye on the provincial performances in the PRO14 not just for the players in the squad that will transition back for game minutes but also for those players that were part of the wider selection discussions over the past few weeks.”
Ireland open their 2020 Guinness Six Nations campaign against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 1st February before welcoming Wales to the Aviva a week later on Saturday 8th February. Ireland’s final home game of the 2020 Championships is against Italy on Saturday 7th March. All three home fixtures are sold out.
Ireland 2020 Guinness Six Nations Squad:
Forwards (19):
Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 0 caps
Caelan Doris (UCD/Leinster) 0 caps
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 14 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 41 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 95 caps
Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht) 1 cap
Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 53 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 8 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 0 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 36 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Ulster) 56 caps
Jack O’Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster) 2 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 64 caps
Tom O’Toole (Banbridge/Ulster) 0 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 38 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 67 caps
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
Backs (16):
Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) 4 caps
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 23 caps
Billy Burns (Ulster) 0 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 18 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 8 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 82 caps
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 9 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 40 caps
Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 19 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 21 caps
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 19 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 78 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 28 caps
Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 88 caps CAPTAIN
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 25 caps
Development Players:
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen/Ulster)
Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Will Connors (UCD/Leinster)
Ireland 2020 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures & Kick-off Times
Ireland v Scotland
Saturday, 1st February, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 16:45
Ireland v Wales
Saturday, 8th February, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 14:15
England v Ireland
Sunday, 23rd February, 2020, Twickenham Stadium, KO 15:00
Ireland v Italy
Saturday, 7th March, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 14:15
France v Ireland
Saturday, 14th March, 2020, Stade de France, KO 20:00
Official Broadcasters
Virgin, ITV, BBC*, RTE Radio
*BBC will only televise live the game from Paris all other Ireland games available live in the UK via ITV

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