Schmidt names extended Ireland rugby squad

The Ireland coaching staff has today named an extended squad of 46 players for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations matches against Italy and France, as well as the Ireland Wolfhounds fixture against the England Saxons.

Schmidt names extended Ireland rugby squad

The Ireland coaching staff has today named an extended squad of 46 players for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations matches against Italy and France, as well as the Ireland Wolfhounds fixture against the England Saxons.

There are two uncapped players named in the extended squad, Leinster backrow Jack Conan and Connacht prop Nathan White.

Head Coach Joe Schmidt, explained: "The coaching group have tried to strike a balance between some players getting the chance to fully complete their rehabilitation programmes, or get a bit of rest and others getting the opportunity to push their claims with further game time in the Wolfhounds fixture.”

Ireland will host three ticketed open training sessions over the course the 6 Nations, with the first taking place in the Aviva Stadium on Friday, January 30, with further open sessions scheduled for Galway and Belfast.

Ireland's opening fixture of the 6 Nations is against Italy in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday, February 7.

Philipe Saint Andre's French side visit Dublin seven days later and Ireland then host England at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, March 1.

Ireland's two home games in the Aviva Stadium are sold out.

Ireland's final two fixtures of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations are away to Wales on Saturday, March 14, and away to Scotland on Saturday 21st March 21.

Robin Copeland, David Kilcoyne, Luke Marshall, Donncha Ryan and Andrew Trimble will remain with their provinces to continue their recovery or to gain game time and may yet return for later 6 Nations test matches.

Among the longer-term injured group are Chris Henry, Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Dan Tuohy and Damien Varley who are unavailable for selection.

The Three Ireland Wolfhounds will face a strong England Saxons selection at Irish Independent Park, Cork on Friday, January 30, with this fixture being broadcast live on RTÉ and Sky Sports.

The Wolfhounds will be coached by Dan McFarland and Richie Murphy.

Extended Ireland and Wolfhounds Squad

Forwards (25)

Michael Bent (Leinster)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)

Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*

Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)

Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)

Dave Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster)

Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)

Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)

Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

Mike McCarthy (Leinster)

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)

Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster)

Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)

Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Nathan White (Galwegians/Connacht)*

Backs (21)

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)

Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)

David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)

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)

Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

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