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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Cian Tracey Twitter Email

Andy Farrell makes shock Six Nations call as Joey Carbery is dropped from Ireland squad

Joey Carbery has been omitted from Ireland's Six Nations squad. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Munster out-half Joey Carbery has been axed from Ireland’s Six Nations squad in favour of Leinster’s in-form ten Ross Byrne.

In what is a big call from Andy Farrell, Carbery has been left out in the cold, as Byrne and Jack Crowley provide back-up cover to captain Johnny Sexton, who has been deemed fit enough to be included as he recovers from a cheekbone injury.

Ireland head coach Farrell has named his 37-strong Six Nations squad, which includes Leinster youngster Jamie Osborne, as the only uncapped player.

The 21-year-old Naas RFC centre has impressed in recent weeks for Leo Cullen's side.

As expected Sexton and Tadhg Furlong have been selected despite the key duo being currently sidelined through injury, but Robbie Hanshaw misses out with the wrist issue that has hampered him in recent months.

Ulster pair Nick Timoney and Kieran Treadwell have also been dropped, as Joe McCarthy, Cian Prendergast and Gavin Coombes earn their spot.

There is also a recall for Munster loosehead Dave Kilcoyne, as his provincial team-mate Jeremy Loughman misses out through injury.

Farrell has shown faith in veteran Munster pair Conor Murray and Keith Earls, as well as Bundee Aki, while Jacob Stockdale also gets the nod.

James Lowe is included despite currently being back home in New Zealand due to personal issues.

Overall, there are 20 Leinster players included, eight from Munster, five from Ulster and four from Connacht.

Ireland begin their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on February 4.

"The Six Nations is a huge competition for us and another opportunity for us to grow as a group," Farrell said.

"2022 was a busy year as we got to work with a larger group of players as we continued to build our squad depth and competition for places.

"While there are a few players carrying knocks and others that have missed out on selection for the start of the tournament, they will have the opportunity to push their case playing for their provinces in the URC over the coming weeks as no doubt we will need to call upon the wider group as the tournament progresses.”

Ireland Six Nations squad (37)

Back three (7): Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen, Jimmy O'Brien, Jordan Larmour, Jacob Stockdale, Keith Earls, James Lowe

Centre (4): Garry Ringrose, Stuart McCloskey, Bundee Aki, Jamie Osborne

Out-half (3): Johnny Sexton (C), Ross Byrne, Jack Crowley

Scrum-half (3): Jamison Gibson-Park, Conor Murray, Craig Casey

Prop (6): Andrew Porter, Cian Healy, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Furlong, Finlay Bealham, Tom O'Toole

Hooker (3): Dan Sheehan, Ronan Kelleher, Rob Herring

Second row (4): Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Joe McCarthy

Back row (7): Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris, Jack Conan, Ryan Baird, Gavin Coombes, Cian Prendergast.

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