Uncapped Byrne, Beirne in Ireland squad to tour Australia

Dublin (AFP) –


Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has named uncapped duo Ross Byrne and Tadhg Beirne in his squad for the forthcoming tour to Australia.

Leinster fly-half Byrne and new Munster second-row Beirne learned on Wednesday that they will be on the plane for the three-Test trip.

Byrne's selection means that all three Leinster fly-halves are included, with Johnny Sexton and Joey Carbery also named.

Leinster scrum-half Luke McGrath was not included, but Connacht's Kieran Marmion and Ulster's John Cooney are in to back up Conor Murray.

Quinn Roux is also named among the second-rows along with Beirne, who has had an outstanding season with the Scarlets.

Rory Best will captain Ireland after Schmidt finally settled on his group following long deliberations.

"This has probably been the most difficult selection process for the coaching group to date," Schmidt said.

"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 on 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.

"The coaching group are excited by the challenge that this three Test tour will present.

"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."

Ireland will play three Tests against the Wallabies in Brisbane on June 9, Melbourne on June 16 and Sydney on June 23.

Ireland's 32-man squad for Australia tour:

Rory Best (Ulster), Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets), Jack Conan (Leinster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Rob Herring (Ulster), Dan Leavy (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), Quinn Roux (Connacht), James Ryan (Leinster), John Ryan (Munster), CJ Stander (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Bundee Aki (Connacht), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Andrew Conway (Munster), John Cooney (Ulster), Keith Earls (Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Conor Murray (Munster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)