Sexton named new Ireland captain as Farrell calls up five uncapped players

By Sports Desk January 15, 2020

Johnny Sexton will be Ireland's captain under Andy Farrell, who has named five uncapped players in his first squad for the Six Nations.

Ex-defence coach Farrell replaced Joe Schmidt as head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, when Ireland suffered a quarter-final exit at the hands of New Zealand.

Skipper Rory Best retired after that tournament and Farrell has opted to name 88-cap fly-half Sexton as his replacement for the leadership role.

Ulster duo Billy Burns and Tom O'Toole, along with Leinster trio Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher are the uncapped players in Ireland's squad, which also includes Devin Toner after his World Cup omission.

Those not to make the cut include Rob Kearney, Jordi Murphy and Jack Carty, as well as the injured Joey Carbery.

"We have appointed Johnny as captain for the Six Nations Championship, you can see what it means to him and the enthusiasm he will bring to the role," Farrell said on the Irish Rugby Union's website.

"He has been developing as a leader for a number of years with Ireland, Leinster and the [British and Irish] Lions and he will be a positive voice for the group."

Ireland finished third in the 2019 Six Nations after being beaten by England and eventual winners Wales.

Farrell's first game in charge will come in their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 1, with Sexton a doubt to play due to a knee injury he sustained last month.

 

Ireland squad: Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Jack McGrath, Jack O'Donoghue, Peter O'Mahony, Tom O'Toole, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Josh van der Flier; Will Addison, Bundee Aki, Billy Burns, Ross Byrne, Andrew Conway, John Cooney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.

Related items

  • Rebels and Reds have to settle for draw after Super Time Rebels and Reds have to settle for draw after Super Time

    There was no separating the Rebels and the Reds after Super Time as they had to settle for an 18-18 draw at Brookvale Oval on Friday. 

    Neither side could force what would have been the first golden-point victory in their second Super Rugby AU match, Reds full-back Bryce Hegarty falling just short with a long-range penalty strike. 

    James O'Connor converted Alex Mafi's try right at the end to force extra time, though they proved to be the last points of the game. 

    Two Matt Toomua penalties gave the Rebels a 6-0 half-time lead, but Filipo Daugunu's try and another O'Connor strike from the tee put the Reds in front. 

    Tries from Reece Hodge and Bill Meakes, the second converted by Toomua, made it advantage Rebels. However, O'Connor reduced the deficit by three before levelling with time almost up after Mafi had crossed. 

  • Saracens tie down Maitland despite relegation Saracens tie down Maitland despite relegation

    Sean Maitland has signed a new two-year contract with Saracens despite the club's relegation to the Championship.

    Premiership and European champions Saracens will play in England's second tier next term following their relegation due to salary cap breaches.

    A number of the club's star names have been linked with moves away while the season is suspended due to coronavirus.

    One player who will not be leaving is Scotland wing Maitland, with the 31-year-old – who has scored 29 tries in 73 appearances – agreeing to stay on until at least 2022.

    Director of rugby Mark McCall said: "Sean has made an outstanding contribution to our club over the last four years both on and off the field.

    "He has taken his game to a new level during that time and has had a great influence on some of our younger players.

    "To have a player of Sean's quality and experience commit his future to the club is a huge boost."

    Maitland's contract follows Manu Vunipola agreeing a new deal on Wednesday.

  • England announce 24-man training group ahead of Ireland ODIs England announce 24-man training group ahead of Ireland ODIs

    England have named nine uncapped players in a 24-man training squad ahead of the three-match ODI series against Ireland.

    Paul Collingwood will take charge of the group, which will live and train on-site at the Rose Bowl in Southampton ahead of the series, which starts on July 30.

    Only eight of the players who were part of the 15-man squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup are included.

    Seven players – Henry Brookes, Sam Hain, Laurie Evans, Phil Salt, Brydon Carse, Richard Gleeson and Tom Helm – have not represented England in any format.

    Lewis Gregory and Liam Livingstone have previously won Twenty20 caps, while David Willey returns after missing out on last year's World Cup squad.

    Alex Hales, who has not been included in a squad since he tested positive for a recreational drug in April 2019, was left out, with national selector Ed Smith touching on the batsman's omission.

    "I have nothing to add to what Eoin Morgan has said about Alex," Smith told Sky Sports.

    "We know how good a player he is, we know what happened, Eoin has been very clear about his comments and we support that."

    Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were left out of England's squad for the three-Test series against West Indies but are included in the training group, as is Jason Roy.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.