lowe blow Andy Farrell confirms 37-man Ireland squad for Six Nations with Mack Hansen included
Andy Farrell has included uncapped backs Michael Lowry and Mack Hansen in his 37-man Ireland squad for the upcoming Six Nations.
But James Lowe misses out after picking up a muscle injury in Leinster training yesterday, with his place going to Connacht winger Hansen.
Jack Carty earns his spot on the back of an impressive run of form with Connacht, while Joey Carbery and Iain Henderson have been deemed fit enough.
Connacht back-row Cian Prendergast will get his first taste of international camp as a development player.
Hansen has been sidelined through injury lately, but he is due to return to action for Connacht's trip to Paris to take on Stade Francais this weekend.
Like Hansen, Lowry has been called up on merit, as the Ulster full-back has put a string of fine performances together, including during last weekend's win over Northampton.
Lowry's Ulster team-mate Robert Baloucoune is named amongst the back-three options, along with Hugo Keenan, Keith Earls, Andrew Conway and Jordan Larmour.
Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose and the in-form James Hume will offer Ireland plenty of exciting options in midfield.
Johnny Sexton will captain the squad, and he is backed up at out-half by Carbery and Carty, who edges out Harry Byrne.
It's as you were at scrum-half, with Conor Murray, Jamison Gibson-Park and Craig Casey in situ.
Ulster lock Kieran Treadwell, who has won three caps, earns a recall ahead of the likes of the France bound Ultan Dillane, Ross Molony, Fineen Wycherley, Jean Kleyn and Thomas Ahern.
Henderson, James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne and Ryan Baird complete the five locks in the squad.
Looseheads Andrew Porter, Cian Healy and Dave Kilcoyne are named along with tightheads Tadhg Furlong, Finlay Bealham and Tom O'Toole, while the three hookers are Rónan Kelleher, Dan Sheehan and Rob Herring.
Farrell is spoilt for choice in the back-row with Caelan Doris, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Nick Timoney all in fine form of late.
"In November we challenged the group to get up to speed quickly so that the team could perform at international level," Farrell said.
“The same will apply for this Six Nations campaign, we need to be at our best against Wales on the opening weekend.
“We have a strong squad with competition for places across the board, there is a nice blend of experienced internationals and guys who have had their first taste of this level in the past 12 months.
“The games in November gave us a good foundation to build on and areas where we know we will have to improve.
“It will be an exciting Championship with so many strong squads and impressive performances across the board during the autumn."
Ireland are set to begin their Six Nations campaign at home against Wales on February 5.
Ireland’s Six Nations Squad 2022
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 33 caps
Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 2 caps
Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 27 caps
Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 10 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 4 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 27 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 96 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 12 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) uncapped
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 53 caps
James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 16 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps
Michael Lowry (Ulster/Banbridge) uncapped
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 92 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 101 caps (C)
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 6 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 18 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 25 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 22 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 12 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 52 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 112 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 65 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 23 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 16 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 79 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 2 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 2 caps
Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 2 caps
Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 3 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 35 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht)
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