Johnny Sexton will be Ireland’s captain under Andy Farrell, who has named five uncapped players in his first squad for the Six Nations.
Ex-defence coach Farrell replaced Joe Schmidt as head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, when Ireland suffered a quarter-final exit at the hands of New Zealand.
Skipper Rory Best retired after that tournament and Farrell has opted to name 88-cap fly-half Sexton as his replacement for the leadership role.
Ulster duo Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole, along with Leinster trio Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher are the uncapped players in Ireland’s squad, which also includes Devin Toner after his World Cup omission.
Those not to make the cut include Rob Kearney, Jordi Murphy and Jack Carty, as well as the injured Joey Carbery.
“We have appointed Johnny as captain for the Six Nations Championship, you can see what it means to him and the enthusiasm he will bring to the role,” Farrell said on the Irish Rugby Union’s website.
“He has been developing as a leader for a number of years with Ireland, Leinster and the [British and Irish] Lions and he will be a positive voice for the group.”
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) January 15, 2020
Ireland finished third in the 2019 Six Nations after being beaten by England and eventual winners Wales.
Farrell’s first game in charge will come in their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 1, with Sexton a doubt to play due to a knee injury he sustained last month.
Ireland squad: Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Jack McGrath, Jack O’Donoghue, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier; Will Addison, Bundee Aki, Billy Burns, Ross Byrne, Andrew Conway, John Cooney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.
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