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Ireland includes three hookers in squad for Six Nations opener

Ireland includes three hookers in squad for Six Nations opener

Jerry Flannery was named in an expanded 24-man Ireland rugby squad on Wednesday for the Six Nations opener against Wales because of injuries to fellow hookers Frankie Sheahan and Rory Best.
Sheahan and Best were carrying slight calf injuries.
An extra fourth lock, Mick O'Driscoll, was also added by coach Eddie O'Sullivan as cover for the injured Malcolm O'Kelly.
"Malcolm's knee injury is still a concern for us and we have allowed some more time for it to respond further to treatment," O'Sullivan said.
O'Kelly, Ireland's most capped player with 83, missed the Down Under tour last summer with a groin injury and after two appearances off the bench in the autumn, he finally started in the finale against the Pacific Islanders, scoring a try.
Flannery was the starting hooker in last year's Six Nations, when Ireland was runner-up to France on points difference. He had a supporter in former Ireland captain and hooker Keith Wood.
"He came out of nowhere and he was easily the best hooker in the Six Nations," Wood said. "I think he had an excellent start to his international career _ he got injured and missed the autumn but he has got back in now. He has to re-find that form."
The team for the Feb. 4 match at Millennium Stadium will be named next Wednesday.
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Ireland:
Backs: Isaac Boss, Girvan Dempsey, Gordon D'Arcy, Denis Hickie, Geordan Murphy, Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace.
Forwards: Neil Best, Rory Best, Simon Best, Simon Easterby, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Marcus Horan, Denis Leamy, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Mick O'Driscoll, Malcolm O'Kelly, Frankie Sheahan, David Wallace.


Updated : 2021-07-25 04:19 GMT+08:00