Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has selected four uncapped players for next month’s two test matches against Argentina.
Kieran Marmion, Robbie Diack, James Cronin and Rob Herring are the four players who could potentially pull on the green jersey for the first time against the South American side. In a somewhat surprising move, Jonathan Sexton has also been included in the panel that travels. Although the number ten has had a busy year with the British & Irish Lions, Ireland’s Six Nations triumph and Racing Metro’s packed Top 14 campaign which came to an end last night, he still travels.
Ian Madigan is one big name to miss out, having had a stop start season with Leinster. Madigan’s teammates Cian Healy and Gordon D’Arcy also don’t make the trip, being rested instead. Likewise, Tommy Bowe also sits out, however his Ulster teammate Andrew Trimble makes the plane, hoping to build on what has been a fantastic individual season for him so far.
Dave Kearney, who suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury for Leinster against Ulster in the RaboDirect PRO12 playoff on Saturday, is not named in the panel. Ulster’s Paddy Jackson, who himself also left that same game with a hip/leg injury, does make the squad however.
Munster’s Simon Zebo is also given the chance to impress, having fallen down the pecking order for Ireland as a result of both injury and star turns from other backs in the camp. These will be Ireland’s first games without retired centre Brian O’Driscoll, and Schmidt will want to establish quickly a replacement that can fit as seamlessly into this team as is possible.