The Big Talking Points As Andy Farrell Names 36-Man Ireland Squad For The Six Nations

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Ireland boss Andy Farrell named a 36-man strong squad for the 20201 Guinness Six Nations this morning – and there’s plenty to talk about regarding his selection.

Uncapped Munster scrumhalf Craig Casey is the surprise inclusion with the 21-year-old being rewarded for his fine form in the PRO14 and Champions Cup this season, earning a call-up over the likes of Kieran Marmion and John Cooney.

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Johnny Sexton will continue to captain the side, while there’s also a call-up for uncapped Ulster prop Tom O’Toole.

Ireland have been handed a massive boost in the front-row too with Tadhg Furlong deemed fit enough for selection. The 28-year-old is yet to play this season but even if he is lacking in match sharpness, Furlong will be a massive asset for the championship.

Jacob Stockdale is the big omission with the Ulsterman unavailable selection but the return of Jordan Larmour softens that below considerably. Shane Daly is also included as is Andrew Conway despite the latter struggling with injury in recent weeks.

The inclusion of Rhys Ruddock will please many fans and pundits too with the Leinster back-row finally being rewarded for his incredible form this season but there’s no place in the squad for Dan Leavy who continues to build himself back up following a lengthy injury absence.

Overall the selection has gone down for the most part and it will be interesting to see who Farrell picks in his matchday squad next month.

Ireland open up their 2021 Six Nation campaign with a clash against Wales on Sunday, February 7.