Joe Schmidt's Six Nations squad sees call ups for Connacht trio Caolin Blade, Jack Carty and Tom Farrell
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Joe Schmidt's Six Nations squad sees call ups for Connacht trio Caolin Blade, Jack Carty and Tom Farrell

Ireland have called up three uncapped players for their opening two games in the Six Nations against England in Dublin and Scotland at Murrayfield.

The 38-man panel sees the inclusion of Connacht trio Caolin Blade, Jack Carty and Tom Farrell for the first time.

Munster's Tadhg Beirne and Ulster back Will Addison will also be hoping to see game time against England first up at the Aviva on February 2.

Head coach Joe Schmidt said: “There have been a number of tight calls across almost every position.

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Caolin Blade of Connacht Rugby in action during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Worcester Warriors and Connacht Rugby on January 13, 2018 in Worcester(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

"Rob Herring is very unlucky as his performances for the national team have been first rate. Denis Buckley has done well for Connacht and the promising young looseheads, Ed Byrne and Eric O'Sullivan, have continued to impress.

"Quinn Roux was very close to selection in the second row, which has become highly competitive with youngsters Gav Thornbury, Fineen Wycherley and Kieran Treadwell all impressing of late along with the experienced Billy Holland.

"It’s a great opportunity for Caolin Blade to get into camp and compete for a spot."

Schmidt said the back row will be even more competitive once those selected could be joined by Dan Leavy once he's fully fit. Ulster’s Sean Reidy continues to impress and Tommy O'Donnell is also under consideration after returning from injury.

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"With a cohort of young players emerging, it will continue to keep plenty of pressure on the performances of the experienced back rowers who have been selected,” he said.

 

IRELAND Squad (2019 Guinness Six Nations Championship - Rounds 1&2, February 2019):

Backs (17) - Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) , Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht), Caolin Blade (Galwegians/Connacht),  Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster), Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht), Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster), John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster), Tom Farrell (tbc/Connacht), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Jordan Larmour (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) , Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster) (vice-capt), Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster).

Forwards (21) - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt), Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Queen's University/Ulster), Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Ulster), Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster), Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) (vice-capt), Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 11, Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary's College/Leinster), James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 16, Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)

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