Billy Burns and Tom O'Toole among nine Ulster players called into Ireland training squad
Billy Burns and Tom O'Toole are among the nine Ulster players that have been called up for Ireland's mini training camp in Dublin this weekend.
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Fly-half Burns joined Ulster in summer 2018 and immediately admitted his ambitions to play for Ireland, who he qualifies to represent through a paternal grandparent.
Prop O'Toole, 21, made his Ulster senior debut at the end of the 17/18 campaign and has since become a regular in the team, scoring his first try for the province in the weekend's European win at Harlequins.
There is no place, however, for Jordi Murphy, who was a late call-up to the Ireland panel at the World Cup.
Ireland's in-form star John Cooney, of course, leads the Ulster contingent, joined also by Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale, Will Addison, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey and Marty Moore.
Burns and O'Toole are two of eight uncapped players in the squad, joined by Connacht scrum-half Caolin Blade and Leinster quintet Will Connors, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson Park and Ronan Kelleher.
Joining Murphy as notable players to be left out are Rob Kearney, Sean Cronin, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion and John Ryan.
New head coach Andy Farrell will get the first chance to bring his squad together when as many as 45 players gather at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre in Dublin on Sunday and Monday.
The squad was unsurprisingly dominated by Leinster players with 19 from the reigning PRO14 champions.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said: "The national coaches have been around the provinces watching games and having good conversations with players and the provincial coaches.
"We have limited opportunities across the busy provincial season to bring a broad group like this together but this 24hr window will allow us to plant a few seeds. It will also give the coaches a better insight into a few players who been performing consistently well for their provinces.
"The next six weeks is the window for players to put their hands up for selection for our first squad which will be named in late January ahead of the 6 Nations."
1 Day Mid-Season Stocktake Attendees
Connacht (5): Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Ultan Dillane, Dave Heffernan, Quinn Roux
Leinster (19): Ross Byrne, Will Connors, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson Park, Cian Healy, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Ronan Kelleher, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Andrew Porter, Garry Ringrose, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier
Munster (12): Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Mike Haley, Dave Kilcoyne, Jean Kleyn, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, Niall Scannell, Rory Scannell, CJ Stander
Ulster (9): Will Addison, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey, Marty Moore, Tom O’Toole, Jacob Stockdale
Belfast Telegraph Digital