Ulster's John Cooney returns to Ireland squad for Australian Test tour
Ulster Rugby's John Cooney has returned to the Ireland squad after a great club season at Kingspan Stadium.
He is part of a squad of 32 players set to travel to Australia in June to take on the Wallabies in a three Test tour which features games in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
The scrum-half has had a great season for Ulster and has been rewarded with his first call up this year.
The summer of 2010 was the last time that Ireland played the Wallabies in Australia with the hosts winning 22-15 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Ireland return to Suncorp for the first Test of the series on Saturday 9th June.
Ireland will play their first Test against Australia in Melbourne since 2008 where last time out the Wallabies claimed the victory 18-12. The second Test of the 2018 Tour will take place at AAMI Park on Saturday 16th June.
The final Test of the series will take place on Saturday 23rd June at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Australia hosted Ireland at this venue is 1994 with the Wallabies winning 32-18.
Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt, commented, "This has probably been the most difficult selection process for the coaching group to date. We sat down on Monday morning to review the last pieces of footage and to discuss the balance and combinations that we felt we might need in Australia.
"At midday today (Wednesday) we made the final decisions which included a number of very tough calls and some players are incredibly unlucky to miss out on selection.
"Over the past couple of months the national coaches have spent time in the provinces and been in communication with the provincial coaches who have done a super job in managing the players across the season.
"The coaching group are excited by the challenge that this three Test tour will present and from talking to the players we get a sense that they too are excited about going on Tour and testing themselves against one of the best sides in the world in their own backyard."
There are two uncapped players in the travelling squad Leinster's Ross Byrne and Scarlet's Tadhg Beirne who has signed for Munster for the 2018/19 season.
The games will be broadcast live on Sky Sports (TV) and RTE 2FM (Radio). Supporters can follow all the news from the summer tour via the IRFU’s website and social media channels. Follow us on.
The full squad is as follows:
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c 111 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) uncapped
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 7 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 61 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 23 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 78 caps
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 38 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 caps
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 47 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 20 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 47 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 7 caps
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 5 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 8 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 13 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 23 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 58 caps
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 7 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) uncapped
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 10 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 1 cap
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 67 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 33 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 83 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 3 caps
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 21 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 64 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 73 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 9 caps
Ireland Summer Tour 2018 Fixtures
Saturday 9th June, 2018
Australia v Ireland
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)
Saturday 16th June, 2018
Australia v Ireland
AAMI Park, Melbourne, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)
Saturday 23rd June, 2018
Australia v Ireland
Allianz Park, Sydney KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)
Belfast Telegraph Digital