Six Nations 2014: Simon Zebo added to Ireland squad

Six Nations 2014: Munster wing Simon Zebo is included in the 33-man Ireland squad ahead of the Six Nations meeting with Italy

Ireland and Munster wing Simon Zebo

Simon Zebo has been included in Ireland’s 33-man squad ahead for Italy’s visit to Dublin on Saturday.

After scoring two tries on his return for Ulster against Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday night, Tommy Bowe “will continue to follow a staged return to play programme” and has not been called up.

Luke Marshall has been left out after taking a knock to the head with Ulster team-mate Darren Cave taking his place among the backs as Munster wing Zebo replaces province team-mate Felix Jones who suffered a knock to the knee, while scrum-half Isaac Boss has been given a week off.

Among the forwards, Leinster’s Richardt Strauss has been called up as he comes back from heart surgery with Ulster’s Robbie Diack replacing the injured Tommy O’Donnell who received a stinger and faces a week of recovery.

Ireland have fitness concerns over Peter O’Mahony, Jonny Sexton and Brian O’Driscoll ahead of the fourth round of this year’s Six Nations with Ulster’s Paddy Jackson expected to start in place of Sexton with the Racing Metro outside-half nursing thumb ligament damage.

Ireland extended squad to face Italy

Backs (14): Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster).

Forwards (19): Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster), David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster), Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster).

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