Ross Byrne & Tadhg Beirne selected for Ireland squad to tour Australia
Leinster outhalf Ross Byrne and Scarlets' Munster-bound lock Tadhg Beirne have been included in the 32-man Ireland squad for the Summer tour to Australia.
Byrne and Beirne are the only two uncapped players included while injured duo Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki have also made the cut.
Henshaw is certain to miss the Guinness PRO14 final against Scarlets this Saturday at the Aviva Stadium with a knee injury he sustained in Leinster's Champions Cup final win against Racing 92 almost two weeks ago.
Aki was due to captain the Barbarians squad in their match against England at Twickenham this Sunday but he was pulled this week due to an ankle injury.
There were no major surprises elsewhere in Joe Schmidt's selection but the Ireland head coach admitted it was a tough one to whittle down.
"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 today (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.
"Over the past couple of months the national coaches have spent time in the provinces and been in communication with the provincial coaches who have done a super job in managing the players across the season.
"The coaching group are excited by the challenge that this three Test tour will present and 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 squad for 2018 Summer Tour of Australia
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c 111 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) uncapped
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 7 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 61 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 23 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 78 caps
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 38 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 caps
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 47 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 20 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 47 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 7 caps
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 5 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 8 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 13 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 23 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 58 caps
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 7 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) uncapped
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 10 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 1 cap
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 67 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 33 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 83 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 3 caps
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 21 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 64 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 73 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 9 caps
IRELAND SUMMER TOUR 2018 FIXTURES - All games live on Sky Sports.
Saturday 9th June, 2018
Australia v IRELAND
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)
Saturday 16th June, 2018
Australia v IRELAND
AAMI Park, Melbourne, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)
Saturday 23rd June, 2018
Australia v Ireland
Allianz Park, Sydney KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)