Eight uncapped players included in Andy Farrell's first squad for Ireland 'stocktake'

There's no room for Rob Kearney, Seán Cronin, Jordi Murphy, Jack Carty, John Ryan or Kieran Marmion – with newly eligible Jamison Gibson-Park jumping ahead of the Connacht man at scrum-half.

Eight uncapped players included in Andy Farrell's first squad for Ireland 'stocktake'

New coach Andy Farrell has included eight uncapped players for next week's Ireland 'stocktake'.

Joe Schmidt's successor has begun his era by looking at some fresh blood – with Caolin Blade (Connacht), Will Connors, Caelan Doris, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ronan Kelleher (all Leinster) and Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole (Ulster) the new faces in the 45-man group.

There's no room for Rob Kearney, Seán Cronin, Jordi Murphy, Jack Carty, John Ryan or Kieran Marmion – with newly eligible Gibson-Park jumping ahead of the Connacht man at scrum-half.

The Irish Examiner understands Farrell this morning phoned the players who were omitted before the squad was made public – and all were told that they are still in the mix for the Six Nations squad, despite missing out this time.

The Ireland coaching group will host the 24-hour camp at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre in Dublin on December 22 and 23, where Farrell will get his first chance to put his message across as head coach, alongside other new voices Mike Catt and John Fogarty.

“The national coaches have been around the provinces watching games and having good conversations with players and the provincial coaches,” Farrell said.

“We have limited opportunities across the busy provincial season to bring a broad group like this together but this 24-hour window will allow us to plant a few seeds.

“It will also give the coaches a better insight into a few players who been performing consistently well for their provinces.

“The next six weeks is the window for players to put their hands up for selection for our first squad which will be named in late January ahead of the 6 Nations.”

The squad make up strongly reflects recent form – with Devin Toner's solid displays since controversially missing the World Cup a sign that the new coach is not afraid to disagree with his predecessor.

Leinster's stunning form sees them dominate the list, with 19 players included, but it is the selection of backrow trio Will Connors, Max Deegan and Caelan Doris as well as hooker Rónan Kelleher that stands out.

The quartet have been outstanding for Leo Cullen's side this season and have been immediately rewarded by a head coach that will be eager to freshen up a squad that disappointed in 2019.

Caolin Blade's form for Connacht has earned him a call up at the expense of team mate Marmion, a Schmidt favourite, while Jack Carty's less than stellar form since the World Cup has cost him his place.

Nine Ulster players marks a significant upturn in northern representation, with the province's strong European performances getting the reward they deserve.

12 Munster players make the cut, with Niall Scannell eager to put his hand up to replace the retired Rory Best in the No.2 shirt, and the 'stocktake' is likely to involve some time allocated to discussing Best's replacement as captain.

1 Day Mid-Season Stocktake Attendees

Connacht:

Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Ultan Dillane, Dave Heffernan, Quinn Roux

Leinster:

Ross Byrne, Will Connors, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson Park, Cian Healy, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Ronan Kelleher, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Andrew Porter, Garry Ringrose, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier

Munster:

Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Mike Haley, Dave Kilcoyne, Jean Kleyn, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, Niall Scannell, Rory Scannell, CJ Stander

Ulster:

Will Addison, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey, Marty Moore, Tom O’Toole, Jacob Stockdale

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