herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Jackson moves ahead of Mads

Ian Madigan has failed to make the Irish panel: SPORTSFILE
Ian Madigan has failed to make the Irish panel: SPORTSFILE

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has chosen Paddy Jackson over Ian Madigan for the 32-man squad to embark on the three-test tour to South Africa.

It would seem the decision of the Bordeaux-Begles-bound Madigan to move to France has cost him dearly.

However, there are two uncapped men rewarded for their form in Ulster's Seán Reidy and Connacht's Quinn Roux, who will make a return to his homeland, beside CJ Stander and Richardt Strauss.

The Ireland breakdown includes 14 from Leinster, eight from Ulster and five each from Munster and Connacht.

Schmidt will turn an anxious eye towards the PRO12 League final on Saturday in which 13 players will put their bodies on the line.

Leo Cullen will shed seven of his starting pack for the month of June with Tadhg Furlong and Seán Cronin also on the ticket. The timely return to form of Jordi Murphy, signalled by his 22 tackles against Ulster in the PRO12 semi-final, makes him the main beneficiary of the process as Tommy O'Donnell misses out.

Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey losses out to colleagues Stuart Olding and Luke Marshall.

ARDUOUS

"Touring South Africa will be arduous to say the least so we've attempted to prioritise players who are currently as close to full fitness as possible," said Schmidt.

With that in mind, the following were not considered for selection: Cian Healy, Denis Buckley, Nathan White, Josh van der Flier, Peter O'Mahony, Seán O'Brien, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Conway and Simon Zebo.

IRELAND SQUAD

Forwards (18): R Best (Ulster, Capt), F Bealham (Connacht), S Cronin (Leinster), U Dillane (Connacht), T Furlong (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster), I Henderson (Ulster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), J Murphy (Leinster), S Reidy (Ulster)*, M Ross (Leinster), Q Roux (Connacht)*, R Ruddock (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), CJ Stander (Munster), R Strauss (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster);

Backs (14): K Earls (Munster), L Fitzgerald (Leinster), R Henshaw (Connacht), P Jackson (Ulster), D Kearney (Leinster), R Kearney (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), L Marshall (Ulster), C Murray (Munster), S Olding (Ulster), J Payne (Ulster), E Reddan (Leinster), J Sexton (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster).

*uncapped player

SUMMER TOUR FIXTURES

South Africa v IRELAND

Date: Saturday, June 11

Venue: DHL Newlands Stadium, KO 4pm (Irish time).

South Africa v IRELAND

Date: Saturday, June 18

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, KO 4pm (Irish time).

South Africa v IRELAND

Date: Saturday, June 25

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, KO 4pm (Irish time).

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