Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 16:23 GMT
Healy and Sexton in Ireland squad
Cian Healy (left) and Jonathan Sexton
Cian Healy and Jonathan Sexton are included in Ireland squad
Uncapped Leinster duo Cian Healy and Jonathan Sexton are the two new faces in Ireland's 33-man Six Nations squad announced by coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

Munster prop Tony Buckley also earns a call-up with Leo Cullen back returning alongside his Leinster team colleagues Bernard Jackman and Jamie Heaslip.

Flanker Johnny O'Connor is another to return after some impressive displays for Connacht as is Ulster's Tommy Bowe.

Rory Best, Neil Best, Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace are also included.

However, Bryan Young and scrum-half Isaac Boss have been omitted and are likely to feature in the Ireland A squad while Stephen Ferris and Simon Best, along with Paul O'Connell were not considered due to injury.

Brian Carney, Frankie Sheahan, Shane Jennings and Keith Gleeson are among other players to miss out.

There's a great opportunity for the squad to get back to the standards we have achieved in the past

Eddie O'Sullivan

Under-pressure O'Sullivan said that selection was due reward for the players in form.

"First and foremost I feel this squad reflects the form of the players in the Heineken Cup and Magners League," he said.

"I'm excited to introduce some young blood into the mix for the Six Nations. Some of the younger players have really put their hands up through their performances and have earned their spot in the squad.

"At the same time it again threw up some tight calls, especially in the backrow, which always seems to be the same every time we select a squad. However, I think we have the balance right going into the championship.

"There's a great opportunity for the squad to get back to the standards we have achieved in the past.

"It's the tournament that we always want to do well in and this year's championship is really open with no clear favourites, so it really is a case of only looking forward to your next game."

P Scott

Meanwhile, it has been a meteoric rise for the 20-year-old Healy who has only made eight senior Leinster appearances.

The former Belvedere College pupil made his debut last season in the Magners League victory over the Borders last May. He was a member of the Ireland U20 Grand Slam-winning squad last season.

Fly-half Sexton has also been in inspirational form this season allowing Leinster to utilise Felipe Conteponi in midfield.

Cullen, Heaslip, Jackman and Luke Fitzgerald all just missed World Cup selection, but following consistent form for Leinster are back in favour.

O'Connor has been absent from the international arena since he came on as a replacement against England in March 2006. However, after his move from Wasps he has gradually made his mark with his home province.

Ireland squad:
Forwards: Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster), Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster), John Hayes (Bruff/Munster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Clontarf/Leinster), Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster), Bernard Jackman (Clontarf/Leinster), Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Johnny O'Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Mick O'Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster), Malcolm O'Kelly (St Mary's College/Leinster), Alan Quinlan (Shannon/Munster), David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster).

Backs: Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster), Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster), Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster), Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster), Eoin Reddan (Wasps), Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster), Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

Not considered because of injury: Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster)



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us | Advertise with us