RugbySix Nations

Joey Carbery left out as Andy Farrell reveals Ireland’s Six Nations squad

Ireland begin their 2023 Six Nations campaign against Wales on February 4th

Joey Carbery’s shock omission from Ireland’s Six Nations squad will constitute a huge blow to the player given the Munster outhalf has been a regular, when fit, in Irish squads since making his debut in sealing the win over the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016.

With Jack Crowley having made his first Test start against Australia as a late replacement in Ireland’s final Autumn Series game, and Ross Byrne having bridged an 18-month gap from international rugby by landing the match-winning penalty off the bench in that game, the Munster outhalf misses out altogether.

Crowley and Byrne join Johnny Sexton as the three outhalves. The Irish captain resumed training last week after sustaining a facial injury in Leinster’s New Year’s Day win over Connacht and is expected to be fit for Ireland’s opening game against Wales in Cardiff in just over a fortnight.

However, Robbie Henshaw has not been formally named in the squad as he continues his rehabilitation from a minor wrist operation, and the up-and-coming Jamie Osborne has been included as one of four centres. The 21-year-old is the only uncapped player in the squad.


There is a minor surprise in the outside backs, where Jacob Stockdale has been recalled while Michael Lowry doesn’t make the cut, and in addition the 98-times capped Keith Earls has been named despite not being included in Munster’s matchday 23 against Northampton last week.

Likewise, as expected, Conor Murray is one of the three scrumhalves along with Jamison Gibson-Park and Munster teammate Craig Casey despite also being left out of the Munster squad last weekend.

There is no real surprise among the 20 forwards, save perhaps for the return of David Kilcoyne in place of his Munster teammate Jeremy Loughman. The latter played in both Maori All Blacks games last summer and for the Ireland A team in their loss to an All Blacks XV last November, but has been sidelined in recent weeks.

With Ronan Kelleher returning, Dave Heffernan and Niall Scannell miss out. Only six loose forwards have been named in addition to secondrows Ryan Baird, and Joe McCarthy again included.

As with Lowry, both of the Ulster pair of Kieran Treadwell and Nick Timoney miss out.

Following his squad announcement, Andy Farrell said: “The Six Nations is a huge competition for us and another opportunity for us to grow as group. 2022 was a busy year as we got to work with a larger group of players as we continued to build our squad depth and competition for places.

“While there are a few players carrying knocks and others that have missed out on selection for the start of the tournament, they will have the opportunity to push their case playing for their provinces in the URC over the coming weeks as no doubt we will need to call upon the wider group as the tournament progresses.”

Ireland begin their campaign against Wales on February 4th in Cardiff, before hosting holders France on February 11th. Next up they face Italy in Rome on February 25th, before a trip to Scotland on March 12th. The final game is against England in Dublin, on St Patrick’s weekend (March 18th).

Backs (17):

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps, Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps, Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 7 caps, Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps, Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps, Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps, Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps, Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps, Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps, James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps, Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps, Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps, Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps, Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas) uncapped, Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps, Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(captain) 109 caps, Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (20):

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps, Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps, Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps, Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps, Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps, Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps, Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps, Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps, Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps, Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps, Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps, Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 caps, Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap, Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps, Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps, Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps, Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap, James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps, Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps, Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 caps

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times