Tommy Bowe & Gordon D’Arcy to miss Ireland’s tour of Argentina
Tommy Bowe and Gordon D'Arcy are the big-name absentees from Ireland squad for Argentina tour
Tommy Bowe and Gordon D’Arcy are among the notable absentees from the Ireland squad to tour Argentina this summer.
Head coach Joe Schmidt announced four uncapped players in his 30-man squad for next month’s two Test visit to South America, but it is the omission of experienced internationals which stand out.
Leinster winger Dave Kearney—who was an integral part of Ireland’s Six Nations-winning squad earlier this year—will miss the tour after sustaining a knee injury in his province’s RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final win over Ulster on Saturday and Leinster outside-half Ian Madigan also misses out with Racing Metro’s Johnny Sexton and Ulster’s Paddy Jackson the only two 10s on tour.
Another Leinsterman, loosehead prop Cian Healy, misses out with his provincial team-mate Jack McGrath challenging Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne for a starting berth in the front row with uncapped Munster loosehead James Cronin expected to provide cover.
Leinster’s Sean O’Brien also misses out after an infection complicated his recovery from shoulder surgery.
Of the other uncapped players brought in by Schmidt, Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion will provide cover for Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan.
Ulster hooker Rob Herring will likely play understudy to team-mate Rory Best and Munster’s Damien Varley and versatile South Africa-born Ulster forward Robbie Diack adds competition to the back row and cover for the second row.
With D’Arcy absent and Brian O’Driscoll hanging up his boots after the Pro12 final, it will mean a new-look midfield for Ireland with Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw expected to take O’Driscoll’s place at outside-centre and Ulster’s Darren Cave alongside him, a partnership which helped the Ireland Wolfhounds to a 14-8 win over England Saxons in January.
The first Test against the Pumas will take place at the Estadio Centenario in Resistancia in north-east Argentina on Saturday 7 June, which will rule out many of the Leinster squad members who play a week earlier against Glasgow Warriors at the RDS and fly out with the rest of the squad on the Sunday.
A week later Ireland will play their second Test at the Estadio Monumental Jose Fierro in Tucumán in north-west Argentina. Both matches kick-off at 19:40 BST.
Ireland squad for Argentina
Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster), James Cronin (Munster), Robbie Diack (Ulster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Rob Herring (Ulster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Marty Moore (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Damian Varley (Munster).
Backs: Darren Cave (Ulster), Keith Earls (Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Felix Jones (Munster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonny Sexton (Racing Metro), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster).