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Ireland tour to New Zealand
O'Driscoll returns as captain for Ireland
ESPN Staff
May 21, 2012
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll prepares for his return to the Test match stage, Ireland training session, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, August 19, 2011
Brian O'Driscoll returns to captain Ireland after missing the Six Nations © Getty Images
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Ireland coach Declan Kidney has named a 29-man squad for next month's tour of New Zealand and re-appointed Brian O'Driscoll as his captain.

O'Driscoll missed the entire Six Nations as he recovered from shoulder surgery and recently underwent key-hole surgery for a troublesome knee, but he is ready for an international return having helped steer Leinster to this season's Heineken Cup crown.

Kidney has selected three uncapped players for the tour with Munster wing Simon Zebo, Munster hooker Mike Sherry and Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick all added to the mix for the three-Test series with the All Blacks..

There are four vacant spaces in the squad which have been earmarked for an extra prop, second row, back row and scrum-half. Ireland's Six Nations captain Paul O'Connell is expected to return from a knee injury to fill the second row place.

Ireland play the All Blacks in Auckland on June 8, Christchurch on June 16 and Hamilton on June 23.

Ireland squad:

Forwards (16):
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon /Ulster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster), Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Mike Sherry (Garryowen/Munster), Dan Tuohy (Ballymena /Ulster), A.N. Other, A.N. Other, A.N. Other

Backs (13):
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster), Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster), A.N. Other

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