Six Nations: Eight Ulster Rugby players named in Ireland squad
Eight Ulster players have been named in the extended 46-man Irish Rugby squad for the RBS 6 Nations.
Forwards Rory Best, Robbie Diack, Iain Henderson and Rob Herring are joined by backs Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy and Jared Payne.
Chris Henry, Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding and Darren Cave were not considered due to injury.
Luke Marshall and Andrew Trimble will remain with Ulster to continue their recovery and may be called into the squad later.
There are two uncapped players named in the extended squad, Leinster backrow Jack Conan and Connacht prop Nathan White.
Ireland will host three ticketed open training sessions over the course the 6 Nations with the first taking place in the Aviva Stadium on Friday 30 January and further open sessions scheduled for Galway and Belfast.
Ireland’s opening fixture of the 6 Nations is against Italy in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday 7 February.
Philippe Saint Andre’s French side visit Dublin seven days later and Ireland then host England at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday 1 March.
Ireland’s two home games in the Aviva Stadium are sold out.
Ireland’s final two fixtures of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations are away to Wales on Saturday 14 March and away to Scotland on Saturday 21 March.
IRELAND Extended 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship Squad:
Michael Bent (Leinster)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)
Dave Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Nathan White (Galwegians/Connacht)*
Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)
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