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Peter O’Mahony To Captain Ireland In 6 Nations

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Head Coach Andy Farrell has today named a 34-player Ireland squad for the upcoming Guinness Men’s Six Nations, with Peter O’Mahony named to captain the team for the 2024 Championship.

The Ireland squad will assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin on Monday to begin preparations for their opening match of the Championship against France at Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Friday, 2 February (Kick-off 9pm local time/8pm Irish time).

Back row O’Mahony, who has captained Ireland on 10 previous occasions, will lead the squad into the Championship, taking over from Jonathan Sexton who called time on his career following last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Farrell has selected three further training additions – Munster duo Oli Jager and Tom Ahern and Leinster out-half Sam Prendergast – who will travel with the Ireland squad to Portugal next Wednesday for their pre-tournament training camp in Quinta do Lago.

Following a Friday night showdown against France in Round 1, Ireland have back-to-back matches at Aviva Stadium against Italy on Sunday, 11 February (Kick-off 3pm) and Wales on Saturday, 24 February (Kick-off 2.15pm).

Farrell’s side travel to London to face England at Twickenham in Round 4 on Saturday, 10 March (Kick-off 4.45pm), before concluding the Championship against Scotland at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 16 March (Kick-off 4.45pm).

Commenting on today’s squad announcement, Farrell said: “The forthcoming Men’s Guinness Six Nations presents an opportunity for us to grow and develop. The Six Nations is one of the biggest stages in world rugby and this year’s competition will be keenly fought. I am pleased with the quality of performances by the extended group over the last number of weeks and believe that the squad is in good shape. I would like to congratulate all those who have been selected, especially those who are at the beginning of their international journeys. It doesn’t get much tougher than France away in the opening weekend, but it is a challenge that we will approach in a positive frame of mind.

“To our new captain Peter O’Mahony, he is a born leader and someone who has been an influential figure for Munster and Ireland for many years. I am confident that the squad will continue to benefit from his leadership skills, both on and off the field. He is thoroughly deserving of this honour, and I know that he will relish working closely with the wider leadership group and squad over the coming campaign. I would like to congratulate him and his family at this special time.”

On being appointed Ireland captain for the 2024 Championship, O’Mahony commented: “Ever since I was a boy starting off in the game, I have always dreamed of captaining Ireland. I have been asked to lead Ireland on a number of occasions previously, and each of those 10 matches were special days. To be now asked to captain Ireland ahead of the Six Nations is without doubt one of the proudest moments of my life and I would like to thank Andy for this show of faith in me.

“We have a strong core of leaders who will all play a key role in driving the highest standards for the team over the coming weeks. Competition is red hot across the squad and we’re all hugely motivated to work hard when we meet up next week ahead of the opening game in Marseille.”

All three of Ireland’s home matches at Aviva Stadium are sold out, with RTÉ and Virgin Media providing free-to-air coverage of the Guinness Men’s Six Nations in Republic of Ireland and BBC and ITV broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

Ireland Squad – Guinness Men’s Six Nations 2024
Forwards (19):

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University)(15)
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers)(36)
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne)(46)
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere)(41)
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(36)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf)(72)
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf)(125)
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy)(79)
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne)(26)
Jeremy Loughman (Munster/Garryowen)(4)
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University)(5)
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution)(101) (captain)
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch)(12)
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD)(59)
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD)(59)
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne)(21)
Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch)(2)
Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge)(3)
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD)(57)

Backs (15):

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians)(52)
Harry Byrne (Leinster/UCD)(2)
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon)(13)
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)(9)
Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/UCD)(1)
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)(30)
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers)
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD)(36)
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(30)
James Lowe (Leinster)(26)
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor)(15)
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen)(112)
Calvin Nash (Munster/Young Munster)(1)
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD)(57)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan)(37)

Training Panellists:

Oli Jager (Munster)*
Tom Ahern (Shannon/Munster)*
Sam Prendergast (Lansdowne/Leinster)*

* denotes uncapped player

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


6 Nations

Wales team to face Ireland in Dublin named

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Senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland has named the Wales side to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the third round of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations on Saturday 24 February (KO 2.15pm live on ITV and S4C).

There is one change to the starting XV that played England at Twickenham on 10 February, with Sam Costelow returning for Wales at fly half.

Among the replacements back-row Mackenzie Martin is in line to win his first senior cap this weekend and would become the 1,200th Wales men’s international.

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Tight-head prop Dillon Lewis would be making his first appearance of this Championship if called on from the bench.

Gatland said: “We are excited to go out to Dublin and test ourselves against one of the leading sides in world rugby. It’s a challenge we are relishing.

“We’ve made steps in the last couple of games and now it’s about building on that, learning from those experiences and taking that into this weekend.

“It’s about continuing to work hard, looking for accuracy in our performance across 80 minutes and also keeping our discipline.”

Wales senior men’s team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the Guinness Six Nations, Saturday 24 February KO 2.15pm GMT. Live on ITV and S4C.
15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 56 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 119 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 34 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 16 caps)
10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 9 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 55 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 27 caps)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons – 48 caps)
3. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 4 caps)
4. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 14 caps) Captain / Capten
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 53 caps)
6. Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 15 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 45 caps)

Replacements

16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 40 caps)
17. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 54 caps)
19. Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 30 caps)
20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 19 caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 4 caps)
23. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)

Images & Content – Wales Rugby


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6 Nations

Jager and Ahern Join Ireland Squad Ahead Of Wales

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The Ireland squad re-assembled in Dublin on Sunday evening ahead of this weekend’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations Round 3 clash against Wales at Aviva Stadium (Kick-off 2.15pm).

Prop Oli Jager has joined the squad and Thomas Ahern has also linked up with Andy Farrell‘s side at the IRFU High Performance Centre this week.

Iain Henderson picked up a foot injury during Ulster’s URC game away to Ospreys on Sunday and there will be a further update later in the week.

The Ireland Match Day Squad to face Wales at Aviva Stadium will be named on Thursday at 2pm.

Ireland Squad – Wales Week: 

Backs (15):

Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)
Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)
Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
James Lowe (Leinster)
Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster)

Forwards (21):

Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster)*
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster)
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster)
Oli Jager (Munster)*
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jeremy Loughman (Garryowen/Munster)
Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)(captain)
Tom O’Toole (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Tom Stewart (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Nick Timoney (Banbridge/Ulster)
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)

*Denotes uncapped player

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

O’Connell Gives Update On Keenan As Ireland Return To Training

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Hugo Keenan is Ireland’s main injury concern ahead of Saturday week’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations clash with Wales. The ever-influential full-back took a blow to his left knee during the win over Italy.

Keenan sustained the injury when falling awkwardly in a 52nd-minute tackle from Italian replacement Giosuè Zilocchi. He was replaced shortly afterwards by Harry Byrne, with Jack Crowley switching to the full-back position.

The 27-year-old Dubliner has become central to Andy Farrell’s plans in a short space of time, with his 15s international debut coming just over three years ago. He has accumulated more match minutes than any other player so far during Farrell’s coaching reign.

He has started 38 of Ireland’s last 42 Test matches, and Jimmy O’Brien and Michael Lowry are the only other players who have worn the number 15 jersey during that time.

Asked about Keenan’s likely availability for the third round of the Six Nations, Ireland forwards coach Paul O’Connell said: “Hugo didn’t train today, but he hasn’t been ruled out for the Welsh game yet.

“He’s progressing with his rehabilitation, he was there at training today and took part in the organisational bits, but I have no full update. He’s still available for selection for Wales, but I’m not sure what will happen in the next few days.

“He plays a big role, he’s obviously been injury-free for a long time. He’s an excellent player and in full-back, covering the back-field defensively, he has a lot of work to do in attack as well, recreating our attack by moving side to side.

“There’s a lot of IP (intellectual property) there that we might miss out on if he wasn’t playing. He also plays a big leadership role for us, he’s a very smart guy.

“He’s a problem-solver within the group and highly regarded within the group. Whether he’s there or not, he’ll continue to play that role.”

Keenan has had a strong start to the tournament, with his individual highlights including his try-saving tackles on Damian Penaud, including one which drove the French dangerman back a few feet, and an electric break against Italy from Craig Casey’s kick over the top.

He has an 85.7% tackle success rate, including two dominant hits and a turnover tackle. In attack, he has had gain-line success with two-thirds of his carries in the Championship, and has the team’s best tackle evasion rate of 47.1%.

If the Leinster star is ruled out when Ireland resume their campaign next week, the versatile Ciaran Frawley, Jordan Larmour, Jacob Stockdale, Calvin Nash, or indeed Crowley, could be options to fill the full-back berth.

Larmour, who returned to international action last Sunday for the first time since 2021, made nine starts at full-back between 2018 and 2020. Farrell handed him the number 15 shirt for his first game in charge of Ireland four years ago.

Last August against Italy, Frawley made his debut as a half-time replacement for O’Brien at full-back. He has started six times in the position for Leinster this season, with Stockdale, Nash and Crowley also having provincial experience in the back-field.

As O’Brien and Mack Hansen are also injury-enforced absentees, O’Connell admits that it could provide an opportunity to build more depth in that area if Keenan is unable to recover in time.

“It’s good for us in some ways because it makes us play someone else there if he doesn’t make it,” commented the Limerick man, who is in his fourth Men’s Six Nations campaign as part of the Ireland coaching group.

“I’m not sure yet, I don’t pay as much attention to the backs, but I’m not sure yet where  Hugo is at. As I said, he was around training today, so we’d be hopeful.”

Meanwhile, Garry Ringrose is on track to play some part against Wales at the Aviva Stadium having returned to training. He missed the opening two rounds due to a shoulder injury.

“Yeah it looks like it, he trained today,” O’Connell said of Ringrose. “We didn’t do a massive session today but he trained today and was in good shape.

“No one else sat out training, no, so they’re all good to go, I believe.”

That includes captain Peter O’Mahony (calf), Tadhg Furlong (calf), and Bundee Aki (knee), who all sat out the 36-0 bonus point victory over Italy as they recovered from their respective knocks.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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