Talented youngster Jamie Osborne has been rewarded for excellent Leinster form by including him in the Six Nations Ireland squad.
Osborne is the only free agent in the 37-man group, and Andy Farrell, unsurprisingly, is doing the tried-and-tested after a fabulous few years.
There are still some interesting additions and omissions, but the biggest surprise is the absence of Joey Carbery.
Return to form for Ross Byrne
Munster star Jack Crowley seizes another opportunity, while Ross Byrne is back in the equation after impressing Leinster.
Pivot Robbie Henshaw is absent as he remains injured, but despite Ulster’s poor form, there is room for Stuart McCloskey and Jacob Stockdale.
Stockdale has not played for Ireland since July 2021 due to injury and is not at his best after his return, but before the 26-year-old ankle problem he had an outstanding scoring record.
However, there are a few notable omissions due to the struggles of the Kingspan Stadium-based team, which had Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, Mike Lowry, Robert Baloucune and James Hume sacked.
Ireland head coach Farrell said: “Six Nations is a great competition for us and another opportunity for us to grow as a group. 2022 was a busy year as we continued to build our squad depth and competition for places as we worked with a wider range of players.
“While there are a few players and others who missed out on selection for the start of the tournament, they will have the opportunity to push their case by playing for their state in the URC in the coming weeks, we will undoubtedly need to call the larger group as the tournament progresses.
One of the pre-tournament favourites, Ireland kicks off their Six Nations campaign with an away game against Wales before the big and possibly decisive encounter with France at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland’s 37-man squad for the Six Nations
ridges: Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton, Jacob Stockdale
Striker: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Josh van der Flier
READ MORE: Ireland: Rory Best says “Johnny Sexton has made the difference with the way he plays”
Ireland: Uncapped Jamie Osborne, Joey Carbery, and the injured Robbie Henshaw’s missed article originally appeared on Planetrugby.com.