Schmidt names six new caps in Chicago squad

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    27 Oct 2016     Getty Images

Six uncapped players have been included in the side. Missing from the side are 61-cap veteran Mike Ross who has been dropped after playing two of Ireland's three Tests against South Africa in June.


His absence is significant. Before missing the second Test against the Springboks he was the only Irish player to have started in every Test of the Schmidt era.

Also missing from that side are: Stuart Olding, Quinn Roux, Ian Madigan, Tiernan O'Halloran, Dave Kilcoyne and Sean Reidy.

O'Halloran's absence means that Rob Kearney is the only specialist fullback in the squad, although former Crusaders and Blues back Jared Payne is one player who is able to cover the role.

Madigan's move to play in France appears to have cost him his place in the backline while Keith Earls red card in a European Champions Cup game at the weekend has cost him his place as he received a two-week ban.

Newcomers include Leinster players halfback Luke McGrath and centre Garry Ringrose and emerging five-eighths, the New Zealand-born Joey Carbery.

Munster's tighthead prop John Ryan takes Ross' place in the back while Billy Holland gets his first chance aged 31, and with more than 100 games for Munster. Wing Craig Gilroy is regarded as a potential replacement for Tommy Bowe. Hooker James Tracy getting his chance with Richardt Strauss still recovering from knee surgery.

Schmidt said in a press release in which the squad was named that such a big squad was named due to more than half the group being involved in Pro12 action at the weekend along with the need to factor in the travel and fatigue from the Chicago game.

The squad is: Finlay Bealham, Rory Best (captain), Joe Carbery, Sean Cronin, Ultan Dillane, Keith Earls, Tadgh Furlong, Craig Gilroy, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Iain Henderson, Robbie Henshaw, Billy Holland, Paddy Jackson, Rob Kearney, Kieran Marmion, Luke Marshall, Jack McGrath, Luke McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Conor Murray, Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony, Jared Payne, Garry Ringrose, Donnacha Ryan, John Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, James Tracy, Andrew Trimble, Josh van der Flier, Simon Zebo.