MUNSTER out-half Ian Keatley has been left out of the 45-strong Ireland squad which is beginning preparations for this autumn’s World Cup.
Keatley started Ireland’s 6 Nations opener against Italy in Rome last season in the absence of Jonathan Sexton and kicked 14 points in winning his fourth cap. However, Keatley is not named in Joe Schmidt’s training squad as the Ireland coach instead opted for a combination of Sexton, Ian Madigan and Paddy Jackson. Munster prop James Cronin is another notable absentee from the extended Irish squad which includes nine Munster players, including the fit-again Donnacha Ryan. The squad will be captained by Toulon-bound Paul O’Connell. The squad will be cut to 31 players on Sunday, September 6.
The Ireland squad will commence preparations at the end of this month and will play in a four Test match Guinness Summer Series across August and September. The 2015 Guinness Summer Series will see Ireland take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, August 8 before hosting Scotland a week later at the Aviva Stadium. On Saturday, August 29, Wales come to the Aviva Stadium with the final game of the series taking place in Twickenham against England on Saturday, September 5. Tickets for the two home games of the Guinness Summer Series are available from www.ticketmaster.ie.
IRELAND Training Squad: Forwards (23); Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster); Michael Bent (Dublin University/Leinster); Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*; Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster); Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)*; Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster); Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster); Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster); Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster); Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster); David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster); Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster); Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster); Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster); Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster); Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster); Tommy O’Donnell (UL-Bohemians/Munster); Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster); Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster); Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster); Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster); Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster); Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster). Backs (22): Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster), David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Jared Payne (Ulster). Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster) Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster); Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)
(*Denotes uncapped player)
Guinness Summer Series Fixtures
Wales v Ireland
Saturday, August 8
Ireland v Scotland
Saturday, August 15
Ireland v Wales
Saturday, August 29
England v Ireland
Saturday, September 5