By John Fallon in New Jersey
Joe Schmidt said that the five uncapped players who have made it into the squad for the first game of the summer tour against the USA on Saturday evening deserve their chance.
Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale will make his Irish senior debut on the left wing while Connacht’s Dave Heffernan, Munster’s Rory Scannell and James Ryan and Andrew Porter of Leinster could all make their debuts off the bench at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
Stockdale, Porter and Ryan were all members of the Irish side which reached the final of the World U-20 Championship last year.
“I think the young guys were impressive in the World Cup – I think their performance in the World Cup last year was impressive full stop,” said Schmidt.
“We’ve had a few guys come through from the last few World Cups - it’s also an opportunity to broaden the base a little bit and those guys can form part of that based on their performances in the next three weeks.
“It’s really about building a base and the potential we see in them. I guess we learn a bit more about them when we get then away on tour, get to know them and they also get to know the expectations.
"They’ll get to know a bit more about what the expectations are at the top level when they play on Saturday.”
Rhys Ruddock will captain the side with Joey Carbery and Kieran Marmion at half-back.
Quinn Roux and Jack Conan will both win their second caps in a squad where aside from the five uncapped players, another eleven in the matchday squad have less than ten caps.
Rookie hooker Heffernan will provide explosive impact from the bench while Scannell is coming off an impressive campaign with Munster.
"I think the young guys were impressive in the (U20) World Cup," Schmidt said on the trio of Stockdale, Porter and Ryan.
"It's an opportunity to build the base and those guys can help form that with performances in the next three weeks. It really is about building the base.
"You get to learn a bit more about them when they come into camp."
Munster stalwart Simon Zebo will provide plenty of experience from the bench having suffered a couple of knocks in training earlier this week.
"I think Simon was a bit sore early on in the week. He would be one guy who is probably best left until a bit later," added Schmidt.
"Having him on the bench gives us a bit of security and versatility."
15. Tiernan O'Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht) - 3 caps
14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) - 59 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) - 8 caps
12. Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster) - 9 caps
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) - Uncapped
10. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) - 3 caps
9. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) - 13 caps
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) - 67 caps
2. Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) - 4 caps
3. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) - 6 caps
4. Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) - 1 cap
5. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) - 47 caps
6. Rhys Ruddock - Captain - (St Mary's College/Leinster) - 13 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) - 7 caps
8. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) - 1 cap
16. Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) - Uncapped
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) - 17 caps
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) - Uncapped
19. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) - Uncapped
20. Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) - 2 caps
21. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) - 2 caps
22. Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) - Uncapped
23. Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) - 33 caps