Picking An Exciting 35-Man Squad For Ireland’s Summer Series
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Ireland will tour USA and Japan this summer.
Joe Schmidt will be given an opportunity to blood in some fresh faces this summer against the USA and Japan while his British & Irish Lions head to New Zealand.
Since the 2015 Rugby World Cup Schmidt has handed out 20 debuts to new faces and we expect him to add to that number this summer. Ruaidhri O’Connor of The Irish Independent drafted up a 32-man squad a couple of weeks back, and while we largely agree with his selection (such as giving Rob Kearney the summer off), we’ve made some changes.
Firstly we reckon a 35-man squad might make a little more sense. Knowing Schmidt he may bring an even larger squad in order to give the young talent a feel for the Irish set-up, even if they don’t get an game time.
There’s also a strong chance another 3-4 of his players could get drafted in the Lions squad if injuries occur. The likes of Garry Ringrose, Simon Zebo, Donnacha Ryan and Jamie Heaslip may will near the top of Gatland’s reserve list.
That being said, here are the 35 men we would bring on tour this summer.
35-man Ireland squad for June tour.
Props: Cian Healy, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Finlay Bealham, James Cronin
Hookers: Sean Cronin, Niall Scannell, James Tracy.
Second-rows: Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Billy Holland;
Back-rows: Jamie Heaslip, Tommy O’Donnell, Dan Leavy, Jack O’Donoghue, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Scrum-halves: Kieran Marmion, Luke McGrath, James Hart
Out-halves: Paddy Jackson, Joey Carbery, Ross Byrne
Centres: Rory Scannell, Garry Ringrose, Luke Marshall, Chris Farrell;
Back three: Andrew Trimble, Keith Earls, Tiernan O’Halloran, Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway, Darren Sweetnam, Adam Byrne