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Declan Kidney

IrelandIreland coach Declan Kidney has confirmed that No 8, Jamie Heaslip, will continue to captain Ireland in the Six Nations despite the return of center Brian O’Driscoll.

Kidney named an extended squad of 39, including six new caps, on Thursday for the opening game against Wales on 2 February plus a game beforehand by the B team Wolfhounds.

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A 31-man Ireland squad, including four uncapped players, has been named by Ireland head coach Declan Kidney for the upcoming GUINNESS Series games against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.  Centre Luke Marshall and forward Iain Henderson named in the panel and who were involved in the Ireland training camp in September are included in the squad as are prop David Kilcoyne and hooker Richardt Strauss, who is now eligible to play for Ireland based on his residency for the past three years.

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Declan Kidney has picked three uncapped players for the 1st Test with New Zealand in Auckland, with Simon Zebo and Declan Fitzpatrick both starting and Ronan Loughrey on the bench. Keith Earls faces the unenviable task of stopping Sonny Bill Williams at inside centre, with Dan Tuohy and Donnacha Ryan forming a new look second row partnership. Brian O’Driscoll captains the side.

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