Eight Ulster players named in Ireland Six Nations squad

Eight Ulster players named in Ireland Six Nations squad

Ulster’s Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Jack McGrath, Tom O’Toole, Will Addison, Billy Burns, John Cooney and Jacob Stockdale have been named in Andy Farrell’s 35-player squad for the upcoming 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Young Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune has also been selected as part of a development group that will train with the squad at the warm weather camp in Portugal in the lead up to the opening game against Scotland, along with Ryan Baird, Harry Byrne and Will Connors.

Burns and O’Toole are two of five uncapped players named with the Leinster trio Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher. Johnny Sexton has been confirmed as captain.

Andy Farrell, Ireland head coach commented, “At the get-together in December we challenged the players to put their hands up for the selection and the coaches are really pleased with the performances in recent weeks.  

As we progress through the Championship, we will look to select sides that we believe are best suited to the task at the weekend.  We will keep a close eye on the provincial performances in the PRO14 not just for the players in the squad that will transition back for game minutes but also for those players that were part of the wider selection discussions over the past few weeks.  

We have appointed Johnny as captain for the Six Nations Championships, you can see what it means to him and the enthusiasm he will bring to the role.  He has been developing as a leader for a number of years with Ireland, Leinster and the Lions and he will be a positive voice for the group.

The provinces are doing a great job in developing young talent and we feel there is an opportunity in the national set-up to support that work and get a better insight into some young players that have put in strong performances for their provinces. Ryan, Will, Harry and Robert will be the first ones to join the squad in this development role.” 

Ireland open their 2020 Guinness Six nations campaign against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 1 February before welcoming Wales to the Aviva a week later on Saturday 8 February.  Ireland’s final home game of the 2020 Championships is against Italy on Saturday 7 March.  All three home fixtures are sold out.

IRELAND 2020 Guinness Six Nations Squad

Forwards (19)
Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 0 caps
Caelan Doris (UCD/Leinster) 0 caps
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 14 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 41 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 95 caps
Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht) 1 cap
Iain Henderson (Academy RFC/Ulster) 53 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 8 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 0 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 36 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Ulster) 56 caps
Jack O’Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster) 2 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 64 caps
Tom O’Toole (Banbridge/Ulster) 0 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 38 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 67 caps
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps

Backs (16) 
Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) 4 caps
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 23 caps
Billy Burns (Ulster) 0 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 18 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 8 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 82 caps
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 9 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 40 caps
Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 19 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 21 caps
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 19 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 78 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 28 caps
Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 88 caps CAPTAIN
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 25 caps

Development Players
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen/Ulster)
Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Will Connors (UCD/Leinster)

Ireland 2020 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures & Kick-off Times
Ireland v Scotland
Saturday 1st February, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 16:45
Ireland v Wales
Saturday 8th February, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 14:15
England v Ireland
Sunday 23rd February, 2020, Twickenham Stadium, KO 15:00
Ireland v Italy
Saturday 7th March, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 14:15
France v Ireland
Saturday 14th March, 2020, Stade de France, KO 20:00

Official Live Broadcasters
Virgin, ITV, BBC*, RTE Radio
*BBC will only televise live the game from Paris all other Ireland games available live in the UK via ITV