Munster’s Coombes and Wycherley among 11 uncapped players named in Irish squad for Summer Series

Irish Head Coach Andy Farrell has named 11 uncapped players in his Ireland squad for the up coming Vodafone Summer Series, which features two Tests in July against Japan and the USA at the Aviva Stadium.

Among the new recruits are Munster forwards Fineen Wycherley and Gavin Coombes who have undoubtedly stood out in both the this years Pro14 and Champions Cup seasons. Both players have had brief stints in senior Irish camps in the past year but this is the first time either player has been named outright in a squad for an upcoming series.

Combes in particular has exhibited stellar form this season, scoring 15 tries in 22 appearances for the province. With both Tadhg Beirne and Ulster’s Ian Henderson unavailable for selection due to injury, the Munster duo will undoubtedly be expected to play key roles among the Irish forwards in the upcoming series.

20 February 2021; Gavin Coombes of Munster in action during the Guinness PRO14 match between Edinburgh and Munster at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Paul Devlin/Sportsfile

Among the uncapped players in Farrell’s 37 man squad is Ulster trio of Robert Baloucounce, Tom O’Toole and Nick Timoney. Baloucoune in particular has turned heads in Ulster’s recent Pro14 and Challenge Cup campaigns, scoring 3 tries in 8 games for the province. Another provincial trio joining the squad are Connacht’s Caolin Blade, Tom Daly and Paul Boyle. 

Leinster’s Harry Byrne, Peter Dooley and Ross Molony will also be seeking their first Irish cap. Byrne and Dooley are set to relieve the duties of their fellow Leinster teammates and Irish rugby veterans Johnny Sexton and Cian Healy, who were omitted from the squad by Farrell in an effort to “grow the experience of other players.”

As Head Coach Andy Farrell explains “I know the players will come in eager to make the most of this opportunity to pull on the green jersey and play in front of supporters for at the Aviva Stadium for the first time in 18 months. Johnny (Sexton), Cian (Healy) and Keith (Earls) will not be involved in this window as we grow the experience of other players. It will be a great opportunity to see can this group perform at this level.”

Also returning to the squad is Munster out-half Joey Carbery, who hasn’t been named in an Irish squad since the 2019 world Cup. The out-half was sidelined for over a year due to an injury but made his provincial return for Munster back in February, and has featured nine times in total for Munster this season.

Both fixtures will be apart of the government’s outdoor pilot sport event programme, and will allow a limited number of supporters in the Aviva Stadium for the two test matches.

“We now have two games at home to focus on which will be a good challenge for the group,” Farrell said. 

The squad captained by James Ryan will assemble on the 22nd of June and will begin the preparations for the two games against the two in-form teams.

Backs (17)
Will Addison (Ulster) 4 caps
Robert Baloucoune (Ulster) uncapped
Caolin Blade (Connacht) uncapped
Billy Burns (Ulster) 6 caps
Harry Byrne (Leinster) uncapped
Joey Carbery (Munster) 22 caps
Craig Casey (Munster) 1 cap
Andrew Conway (Munster) 24 caps
Shane Daly (Munster) 1 cap
Tom Daly (Connacht) uncapped
Chris Farrell (Munster) 14 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 9 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster) 11 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster) 29 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 4 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster) 34 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) 34 caps

Forwards (20)
Ryan Baird (Leinster) 3 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht) 14 caps
Paul Boyle (Connacht) uncapped
Ed Byrne (Leinster) 4 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster) uncapped
Ultan Dillane (Connacht) 18 caps
Peter Dooley (Leinster) uncapped
Caelan Doris (Leinster) 7 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht) 5 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster) 21 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster) 11 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster) 43 caps
Ross Molony (Leinster) uncapped
Peter O’Mahony (Munster) 75 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster) uncapped
James Ryan (Leinster) 35 caps (Captain)
John Ryan (Munster) 23 caps
Nick Timoney (Ulster) uncapped
Josh van der Flier (Leinster) 31 caps
Fineen Wycherley (Munster) uncapped

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