Ireland squad announced for 2020 Six Nations - with Sexton named as captain
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Ireland squad announced for 2020 Six Nations - with Sexton named as captain

IRELAND Head Coach Andy Farrell has officially announced his 35-man first team squad for the upcoming Six Nations tournament.

Jonathan Sexton has been named as Ireland's captain following Rory Best's retirement, while five uncapped players have been given the nod: Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher from Leinster, and Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole from Ulster.

All five players have been on top form for their clubs this season, helping Leinster and Ulster to first and second in Conference A of the PRO14 respectively.

Jonathan Sexton has been named Ireland captain
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Four development players; Ryan Baird, Robert Baloucoune, Harry Byrne and Will Connors have also been included and will train with the squad at the warm weather camp in Portugal and in the lead up to the opening game against Scotland.

Speaking after the announcement, Farrell spoke of his belief that Sexton was the perfect man to lead Ireland into the tournament.

"We have appointed Johnny as captain for the Six Nations Championship, you can see what it means to him and the enthusiasm he will bring to the role.

"He has been developing as a leader for a number of years with Ireland, Leinster and the Lions and he will be a positive voice for the group," he added.

Ireland will open their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, February 1 before welcoming Wales to the Aviva a week later on Saturday, February 8.

Ireland’s final home game of the 2020 Championship is against Italy on Saturday, March 7.

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Credit: Irish Rugby

Ireland's 2020 Guinness Six Nations squad in full:

Forwards (19):

Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
Caelan Doris (UCD/Leinster)*
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 14 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 41 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 95 caps
Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht) 1 cap
Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 53 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 8 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 36 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Ulster) 56 caps
Jack O’Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster) 2 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 64 caps
Tom O’Toole (Banbridge/Ulster)*
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 38 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 67 caps
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps

Backs (16):

Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) 4 caps
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 23 caps
Billy Burns (Ulster)*
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 18 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 8 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 82 caps
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 9 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 40 caps
Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 19 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 21 caps
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 19 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 78 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 28 caps
Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 88 caps CAPTAIN
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 25 caps

*Uncapped At This Level

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Development Players:

Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen/Ulster)
Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Will Connors (UCD/Leinster)