Furlong back as Farrell names 6N squad

Rugby

Ireland included Tadhg Furlong in their squad for this year’s Six Nations as coach Andy Farrell said on Monday that the British and Irish Lions prop was ready to join the group despite last playing almost a year ago.

Furlong has not played since last year’s Six Nations and his club, Leinster, said the 28-year-old tighthead could begin his comeback on the field as soon as this weekend.

Winger Jacob Stockdale, who sustained a knee injury this month, misses out, Farrell said in a statement.

Johnny Sexton will captain a mostly experienced squad. The Leinster fly-half left the field early in their clash with Munster on Saturday and will be assessed at the Irish camp this week, Leinster coach Leo Cullen said.

Munster scrum-half Craig Casey and Ulster prop Tom O’Toole are the only two uncapped players in the 36-man squad, with Casey included ahead of Leinster’s Luke McGrath and Ulster’s John Cooney.

Flanker Rhys Ruddock, who has been in an out of Ireland’s squad since making his debut more than 10 years ago, also won a recall.

Ireland begin the championship away to Wales on Feb. 7 before hosting France a week later and concluding the campaign at home to holders England on March 20.

Ireland squad

Backs

Bundee Aki, Billy Burns, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Jamison Gibson Park, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton (captain)

Forwards

Tadhg Beirne, Will Connors, Caelan Doris, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier

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