Old friends are best as far as Ireland coach Declan Kidney is concerned – but Luke Fitzgerald is again out of favour ahead of the Six Nations.
Leinster winger Fitzgerald has been left out of Kidney’s senior squad again for the Six Nations but with a caveat.
Fitzgerald will play for the Irish A team against England next week with Kidney effectively branding the game as a final trial.
Tomas O’Leary and Isaac Boos have also been left in the A squad.
The coach will only finalise his squad for the opening Six Nations clash with Wales after the Wolfhounds have played England.
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The main squad is made up entirely of players who were at the World Cup, a move that has been criticised by Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin.
But Kidney has included six youngsters who will train with the senior squad in Limerick next week to get a feel for international rugby.
Leinster captain Leo Cullen is also included but may require surgery on an Achilles tendon injury.
Kidney said: “There have been some strong performances by players with the Provinces going really well. It always gives the squad a good boost when we have teams with players playing well in Europe before we step back up into the international scene.”
The uncapped players who will join the main squad are Ian Nagle, Peter O’Mahony and Simon Zebo from Munster, Connacht’s Tiernan O’Halloran, Ulster’s Paddy McAllister and Andrew Conway from Leinster.
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