Schmidt casts his Irish net wide

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:23
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said players in the squad who do not make the Test with world champions New Zealand on November 5 should get some game time later in the month.

The 51-year-old New Zealander - who committed himself to Ireland up to the 2019 World Cup on Monday - named an enlarged 34-man squad to meet up on Sunday ahead of their departure to the United States for the All Blacks game in Chicago.

However, utility back Keith Earls, while named in the squad, won't make the trip as earlier on Wednesday he received a two-week suspension for a dangerous tackle in Munster's European Champions Cup match with Glasgow Warriors last Saturday.  

"Selections were difficult as always; trying to balance form, fitness, experience, combinations plus assess those players returning from injury or those carrying minor knocks or strains," said Schmidt.

"With more than half the squad likely to be involved in Celtic League action this weekend, plus the need to factor in the travel and fatigue from the Chicago fixture, there are also a number of players on standby who are likely to be involved during the first two weeks of the November Series."

The Irish will play the All Blacks a second time in Dublin on November 19, followed by World Cup finalists Australia a week later.

They begin their Dublin Tests against Canada on November 12th.

Ireland squad: Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Rory Best (Ulster/captain), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Connacht), Keith Earls (Munster), Tadgh Furlong (Leinster), Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster) Robbie Henshaw (Leinster) Billy Holland (Cork Constitution), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Luke McGrath (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Jared Payne (Ulster) Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), John Ryan (Munster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), James Tracy (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Simon Zebo (Munster)

AFP