SIX Munster players have been included in Joe Schmidt’s 27-strong squad which jetted off to Chicago on Monday to face world champions New Zealand at Soldier Field on Saturday.
The six Munster representatives include backs Conor Murray and Simon Zebo as well as forwards CJ Stander and Donnacha Ryan as well as the uncapped duo of Billy Holland and John Ryan.
Ireland, who are aiming to avoid a 19th consecutive defeat to the All-Blacks next weekend are without Munster’s influential captain Peter O’Mahony, left out of the travelling party as he continues his return to match fitness alonf with Leinster’s Sean O’Brien and Ulster’s Iain Henderson.
O’Mahony has recently returned to action for Munster after overcoming the knee ligament problem that ended his World Cup 2015 campaign prematurely in the 24-9 pool stage victory over France.
Ireland will hope the trio of loose forwards will be available for selection by the time they face New Zealand again at the Aviva Stadium on November 19.
IRELAND SQUAD (*denotes uncapped players)
BACKS (12) Joey Carbery (Leinster)*, Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Luke McGrath (Leinster)*, Conor Murray (Munster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster)*, Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster)
FORWARDS (15) Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Rory Best (Ulster, captain), Seán Cronin (Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Connacht), Tadgh Furlong (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Billy Holland (Munster)*, Jack McGrath (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), John Ryan (Munster)*, CJ Stander (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster).