Greystones native Jack Conan is one of two uncapped players named in today’s 46 man Irish squad ahead of the forthcoming 6 Nations, as well as the Ireland Wolfhounds fixture against the England Saxons.

There are 24 Leinster players in total in Joe Schmidt’s extended squad with 14 forwards and 10 backs selected.

Having only played once for the senior team last season against Cardiff, Conan has made 14 appearances for Leinster this season, eight from the start, and only last week made his first European start in the Pool 2 win over Castres in the RDS.

Sean O’Brien, Cian Healy and Rhys Ruddock are included in the 46 man squad as they edge ever closer to a return to full fitness, while Michael Bent returns to the Irish set up for the first time since 2012 on the back of some sterling performances on both sides of the scrum in the Guinness PRO12 and the Champions Cup. 

Dave Kearney, Jordi Murphy, Jack McGrath and Marty Moore who had breakthrough seasons in the green of Ireland last year are selected, while Noel Reid, who won his first Irish cap during the summer tour to Argentina and was a PRO12 Young Player of the Year nominee last season, is selected having returned from an ankle injury suffered in the opening PRO12 fixture against Glasgow. 

The recently capped Dominic Ryan is also included in his first 6 Nations squad having impressed in the Autumn Series against Georgia and having lined out for his province on 14 occasions this term, scoring four tries in the process including a valuable five pointer against this weekend’s opposition Wasps in the RDS in October.

Ireland will host three ticketed open training sessions over the course the 6 Nations with the first taking place in the Aviva Stadium on Friday 30th January and further open sessions scheduled for Galway and Belfast.
Ireland’s opening fixture of the 6 Nations is against Italy in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday 7th February.  Philipe Saint Andre’s French side visit Dublin seven days later and Ireland then host England at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday 1st March. Ireland’s two home games in the Aviva Stadium are sold out.
Ireland’s final two fixtures of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations are away to Wales on Saturday 14th March and away to Scotland on Saturday 21st March. 
The Three Ireland Wolfhounds will face a strong England Saxons selection at Irish Independent Park, Cork on Friday 30th January with this fixture being broadcast live on RTE and SKY Sports.  The Wolfhounds will be coached by Dan McFarland and Leinster’s Richie Murphy.
Head Coach Joe Schmidt, explained, 
“The coaching group have tried to strike a balance between some players getting the chance to fully complete their rehabilitation programmes, or get a bit of rest and others getting the opportunity to push their claims with further game time in the Wolfhounds fixture.”

IRELAND Extended 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship Squad:
Forwards (25)
Michael Bent (Leinster)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)
Dave Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)

Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Nathan White (Galwegians/Connacht)*
Backs (21)
Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster)

Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)
*Denotes uncapped player