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Farrell resists calls for changes in Rome


Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell


Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell has resisted the temptation to bring any fresh faces into his Ireland squad ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash in Rome.

The Ireland head coach has stuck with the same 36-man squad that was in situ for the defeat to France last time out.

That's despite calls for in-form half-backs Jack Carty and John Cooney to earn recalls, while younger players such as Harry Byrne and Gavin Coombes have also missed out on selection.

Cooney and Byrne were called up to the squad as injury cover for the France game, which prompted suggestions the pair could have forced their way into contention, but they continue to be overlooked.

Captain Johnny Sexton and influen­tial lock James Ryan are expected to overcome their respective head injuries in time to face Italy, while Conor Murray (hamstring) and Dave Kilcoyne (calf) are also set to be fit.

Having been an unused replacement against France, Munster's Craig Casey, a try-scorer on Saturday, will be hoping to make his international debut at the Stadio Olimpico, as will his fellow uncapped team-mates Ryan Baird and Tom O'Toole, who both featured for Leinster and Ulster respectively over the weekend.

IRELAND SQUAD (Six Nations Round 3 v Italy) - Backs: B Aki (Connacht), B Burns (Ulster) R Byrne (Leinster), C Casey (Munster), A Conway (Munster), S Daly (Munster), K Earls (Munster), C Farrell (Munster), J Gibson-Park (Leinster), R Henshaw (Leinster), H Keenan (Leinster), J Larmour (Leinster), J Lowe (Leinster) S McCloskey (Ulster), C Murray (Munster), G Ringrose (Leinster), J Sexton (Leinster).

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Forwards: R Baird (Leinster), T Beirne (Munster), E Byrne (Leinster), J Conan (Leinster), W Connors (Leinster), U Dillane (Connacht), T Furlong (Leinster), C Healy (Leinster), D Heffernan (Connacht), I Henderson (Ulster), R Herring (Ulster), R Kelleher (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), T O'Toole (Ulster), A Porter (Leinster), R Ruddock (Leinster), J Ryan (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), J van der Flier

Belfast Telegraph