Ten Munster players named in Emerging Ireland squad for South Africa Tour

The team will play three games in South Africa this month.

The Emerging Ireland coaching group have named the 35-man squad that will travel to South Africa later this month to play in the Toyota Challenge.

Emerging Ireland will have a three day camp in the IRFU’s High Performance Centre in Dublin before flying to Bloemfontein to play against three Currie Cup sides – the Griquas, Pumas and Cheetahs.

10 Munster players are included in the form of Thomas Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen, Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and Josh Wycherley.

The squad contains four capped players Shane Daly and Robert Baloucoune (both 2 caps), Caolin Blade and Max Deegan (both 1 cap) and three players who featured against the Māori All Blacks during the summer, Ciaran Frawley, Joe McCarthy and Cian Prendergast.

13 October 2021; Shane Daly during Munster rugby squad training at the University of Limerick in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jamie Osborne and Thomas Ahern have both trained with the senior Ireland squad as development players.

Eight players featured in the Ireland U20 side that won a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2019 – Tom Clarkson, Brian Deeny, Jake Flannery, John Hodnett, Michael Milne, Scott Penny, Callum Reid and Dylan Tierney-Martin.

2022 U20 Six Nations Grand Slam winners James Culhane and Chay Mullins are included. Culhane was named U20 Player of the Tournament while Mullins has gone on to win a bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town.

Andrew Smith also played for Ireland 7s in last weekend Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa. The former Ireland U20 has played in seven World Series tournaments and won an Energia AIL title with Clontarf this year.

8 January 2022; Thomas Ahern, right, and Niall Scannell of Munster celebrate a turnover during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Ulster at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Andy Farrell, Ireland head coach, commented,

“This opportunity provides another window for players to develop and show they can thrive in the intensity of a national environment. It will be exciting to see which players step up and put themselves in the frame for a further opportunity to impress in November.

“For some players it is an opportunity to build on what they have already learned in national camp and take their development to the next level, for others it is a first opportunity to show the national coaches what they are about and what they can deliver.”

Simon Easterby, Emerging Ireland head coach, commented,

“The coaching group are really excited about working with this squad and broadening the selection pool for the national team.

“We will look to replicate the national team environment and training intensity, so players get a good understanding of what it takes to perform at the highest level.  The players will have to adapt to the national team’s tactical and technical approach in a very short window of time and deal with the pressure of performing in a green jersey.”

Emerging Ireland Squad – Toyota Challenge 2022

Backs (15)

Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen)

Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians)

Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)

Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Constitution)

Nathan Doak (Ulster/Banbridge)

Jake Flannery (Ulster/Shannon)

Antoine Frisch (Munster)

Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/UCD)

Michael McDonald (Ulster)

Ethan McIlroy (Ulster/Queens RFC)

Stewart Moore (Ulster/Malone)

Chay Mullins (Connacht/IQ Rugby)

Calvin Nash (Munster/Young Munster)

Jamie Osbourne (Leinster/Naas)

Andrew Smith (Leinster/Clontarf)

Forwards (20)

Thomas Ahern (Munster/Shannon)

Diarmuid Barron (Munster/Garryowen)

Tom Clarkson (Leinster/Dublin University)

James Culhane (Leinster/UCD)

Max Deegan (Leinster/Lansdowne)

Brian Deeny (Leinster/Clontarf)

John Hodnett (Munster/UCC)

Sam Illo (Connacht)

Cormac Izuchukwu (Ulster/Ballynahinch)

Alex Kendellen (Munster/UCC)

Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University)

Michael Milne (Leinster/UCD)

Scott Penny (Leinster/UCD)

Cian Prendergast (Connacht)

Callum Reid (Ulster/Banbridge)

Roman Salonoa (Munster/Shannon)

Alex Soroka (Leinster/Clontarf)

Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch)

Dylan Tierney-Martin (Connacht/Corinthians)

Josh Wycherley (Munster/Young Munster)

Emerging Ireland Toyota Challenge Fixtures 2022

Friday 30th September 2022, KO 12:45 (Irish time)

Windhoek Draught Griquas vs Emerging Ireland

Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Wednesday 5th October 2022, KO 16:00 (Irish time)

Airlink Pumas vs Emerging Ireland

Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Sunday 9th October 2022, KO 12:00 (Irish time)

Toyota Cheetahs vs Emerging Ireland

Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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