Ireland’s emerging 35-man squad for Tour South Africa announced The42

A squad of 35 players from emerging Ireland have been announced for the upcoming three-match round to South Africa.

Simon Easterby is set to lead the coaching group, supported by Paul O’Connell, Mike Catt and John Fogarty, for matches against Jericoas (September 30), Pumas (October 5) and Cheetah (October 9).

Only four players were selected from the 35 test-level players – Robert Balcon of Ulster, Kaolin Blade of Connacht, Shane Daly of Monster and Max Degan of Leinster.

Three of the team – Ciaran Frawley, Joe McCarthy and Sian Prendergast – appeared against the Maori All Blacks during the New Zealand summer tour, while Jimmy Osborne and Tom Ahern trained with Andy Farrell’s first team as development players.

The young squad – split between 15 full-backs and 20 forwards – includes eight players who were part of Ireland’s Under-20 success at the Grand Slam in 2019 – Tom Clarkson, Brian Denney, Jake Flannery, John Hodnett, Michael Milne, Scott Penny and Callum Reed W. Dylan Tierney Martin.

James Culhane and Chai Mullins, who both featured in the 2022 Grand Slam winning campaign at the 2022 U-20 Championship, also made the cut. Mullins and Andrew Smith were also part of the Ireland Sevens that finished third at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Cape Town last week.

Team Emerging Ireland will meet for a three-day camp at the IRFU High Performance Center before traveling to South Africa later this month.

Andy Farrell, Ireland’s president, said: “This opportunity provides another opportunity for players to develop and demonstrate their ability to thrive in an intense national environment.

“It will be exciting to see which players step up and put themselves in the frame for another chance to impress in November.

For some players, it’s a chance to build on what they’ve already learned in the national camp and take their development to the next level, for others, it’s a first chance to show the national coaches what they do and what they can deliver.”

The coaching group is really excited to work with this team and expand the selection for the national team,” added Easterby.

“We will be looking to simulate the national team environment and training intensity, so that the players get a good understanding of what it takes to perform at the highest level.

“The players will have to adapt to the tactical and technical approach of the national team in a very short period of time and deal with the pressure of performance in the green jersey.”

IRB Director of Performance David Nocifora commented: “The Ireland Emerging Tour is of vital strategic importance in a Rugby World Cup year. This will put some pressure on our players’ resources but will provide an opportunity for emerging talent to impress national coaches early in the World Cup season.

“As these players return to their counties, their progress can be monitored and supported so that they remain part of the national team image.

“The three matches in Bloemfontein and the match against All Blacks 15th in Dublin provide a great opportunity for these players to gain experience in the national environment and make their way into coaches’ minds for the upcoming season.”

Ireland junior national team

Appearance (15):

Robert Balcon (Ulster/Enniskillen) *

Kaolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegion) *

Jack Crowley (Constitution of Monster/Cork)

Shane Daly (Constitution of Monster / Cork) *

Nathan Duke (Ulster/Bannbridge)

Jake Flannery (Ulster/Shannon)

Antoine Frisch (Monster)

Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/UCD)

Michael MacDonald (Ulster)

Ethan McIlroy (Ulster/Queens RFC)

Stuart Moore (Ulster/Malon)

Chay Mullins (Connect/IQ Rugby)

Calvin Nash (Monster/Young Monster)

Jamie Osborne (Leinster/NAS)

Andrew Smith (Leinster/Clontarf)

Attackers (20):

Tom Ahern (Monster/Shannon)

Diarmuid Baron (Monster/Garywin)

Tom Clarkson (Leinster/University of Dublin)

James Cohen (Leinster/University of North Carolina)

Max Deegan (Leinster/Lansdown) *

Brian Denny (Leinster/Clontarf)

John Hodnet (Monster/Union Carbide Corporation)

Sam Elo (Connacht)

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Cormac Izuchokwu (Ulster/Balinahinch)

Alex Kindlin (Monster/Union Carbide Corporation)

Joe McCarthy (Leinster/University of Dublin)

Michael Milne (Leinster/UCD)

Scott Penny (Leinster/UCD)

Sian Prendergast (Connacht)

Calum Reed (Ulster/Bannbridge)

Roman Salanoa (Monster/Shannon)

Alex Soroka (Leinster/Clontarf)

Tom Stewart (Ulster/Balinahinch)

Dylan Tierney Martin (Connacht / Corinthians)

Josh Witcherley (Monster/Young Monster)

* Crowned for Ireland

Emerging Ireland matches:

(All matches are in Ireland time)

Windhoek Project Grecos vs Emerging Ireland
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, Friday 30th September, 12.45pm

Airlink Pumas vs emerging Ireland
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, Wednesday 5 October 4pm

Toyota Chita vs emerging Ireland
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, Sunday 9 October 12 noon

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