Ireland squad boosted by comebacks
October 19, 2010
Munster's Keith Earls is back in contention for Ireland © PA Photos
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has named a strong panel for their November internationals after being boosted by a number of high-profile returns this season.
Keith Earls, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris, Denis Leamy, Sean O'Brien and Donnacha Ryan all return after missing the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia, while Leinster lock Devin Toner and Munster utility back Johne Murphy are the only uncapped players named in the squad.
The most notable casualty is Leicester skipper Geordan Murphy, who featured regularly under Kidney last season. Connacht's Gavin Duffy offers cover for Rob Kearney at fullback while Shane Horgan, Earls and Murphy's namesake, Johne, have also played some rugby in the No.15 jersey.
Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald and Munster hooker Jerry Flannery could join the national side at a later date if they recover from knocks picked up on Heineken Cup duty last weekend, with Fitzgerald tipped to return to training on Thursday.
Former British & Irish Lions skipper Paul O'Connell and Leinster flanker Kevin McLaughlin remain absent due to existing injuries. Munster scrum-half Tomas O'Leary and Leinster lock Leo Cullen could also make an appearance at some stage should they prove their fitness.
Ireland face South Africa on November 6 in the first Test staged at the new Aviva Stadium before facing New Zealand, Argentina and Samoa.
"It is going to be a demanding month for the squad and the first time we have played four games in the series," Kidney said. "We felt it was important to have 30 fit players to choose from in terms of setting the foundations for November and it was better for those who picked up knocks to be assessed back in the provinces and when they have the all clear, to come back into the squad.
"Jerry and Luke are in that position, as are fellas like Tomas and Leo, who may well come back into the mix depending on their recoveries and game time that they may need to build up over the next couple of weeks."
Ireland squad to face South Africa, Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina:
Forwards: R Best (Ulster), T Buckley (Munster), T Court (Ulster), S Cronin (Connacht), S Ferris (Ulster), J Hayes (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster), M Horan (Munster), D Leamy (Munster), J Muldoon (Connacht), D O' Callaghan (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), M O'Driscoll (Munster), M Ross (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), D Toner (Leinster), D Varley (Munster), D Wallace (Munster)
Backs: I Boss (Leinster), T Bowe (Ospreys), G D'Arcy (Leinster), G Duffy (Connacht), K Earls (Munster), S Horgan (Leinster), R Kearney (Leinster), J Murphy (Munster), R O' Gara (Munster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster), J Sexton (Leinster), P Stringer (Munster), A Trimble (Ulster), P Wallace (Ulster)
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