Leinster youngster Jack McGrath has been named in the 34 strong Ireland squad for the forthcoming Guinness series against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.

The young forward joins David Kearney and James Coughlan as the three uncapped players for the first series of games under new coach Joe Schmidt.
Munster prop David Kilcoyne lost out to McGrath, while injury has robbed Schmidt of the services of Stephen Ferris, Richardt Strauss, Tommy O’Donnell, Jordi Murphy, Simon Zebo, Donnacha Ryan and Iain Henderson.

Schmidt said, “The squad combines players who have shown form in the domestic season mixed with those who have a proven record at international level.

“As always there were some very difficult decisions. Some players have had limited opportunity to impress due to injury and others have performed very well and it was difficult to leave them out.

“The Guinness Series will demand plenty from the squad and I know they’ll be motivated by the challenge.”

Ireland play Samoa at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, November 9, followed by Australia the following Saturday and then world champions New Zealand on Sunday, November 24.

Leinster duo Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien are rated as doubtful for the opening game after picking up injuries over the weekend.

The Ireland squad: Backs; Isaac Boss, Tommy Bowe, Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, David Kearney, Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan, Luke Marshall, Fergus McFadden, Conor Murray, Brian O’Driscoll, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton.

Forwards; Stephen Archer, Rory Best, James Coughlan, Tom Court, Sean Cronin, Declan Fitzpatrick, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Chris Henry, Mike McCarthy, Jack McGrath, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O’Brien, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony, Mike Ross, Mike Sherry, Devin Toner, Dan Tuohy.