Best man gets the nod as Ireland’s Six Nations squad is named

The Ireland Six Nations squad for the opening two ties of the tournament has been announced, as Rory Best is revealed as the new captain of the side following Paul O’Connell’s retirement.

Joe Schmidt has named four uncapped players in his Six Nations squad as Ireland look to make it three RBS 6 Nations Championships in a row.

Ulster hooker Rory Best takes up the role as captain of the side, being entrusted with the armband ahead of the likes of Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien and Jonny Sexton.

Leinster number 8 Heaslip will take up the role of vice-captain.

The four new arrivals on the Irish scene encompass club rugby in the country, with one each from Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster.

Munster captain CJ Stander will likely provide competition for his vice-captain, Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier is  also included, while Connacht lock Ultan Dillane is the other new addition to Schmidt's forwards.

In the back row, Ulster's Stuart McCloskey will compete for a centre position with the likes of Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne and clubmate Luke Marshall.


Ireland Squad for @rbs_6_nations 4 Uncapped: @Ultan_Dillane @CJStander @joshvdf & @Stuart_Mc12 #shouldertoshoulder

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) January 20, 2016

Forwards (19)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain

Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)

Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)*

Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)

Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) Vice Captain

Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster)

Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)

Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster)

Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)

CJ Stander (Munster)*

Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)

Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)*

Nathan White (Connacht)

Backs (16)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)

Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)

Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)

Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)

David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)

Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)

Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)

Stuart McCloskey (McCloskey/Ulster)*

Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)

Jared Payne (Ulster)

Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster)

Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)

Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

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