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Ireland include five uncapped players in squad for tour of New Zealand

Andy Farrell has named a 40-man squad for Ireland's first southern hemisphere tour since 2018. David Rogers/Getty Images

Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named five uncapped players in an extended 40-man squad for their three-test tour of New Zealand that will gauge both nations' progress ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

Exciting young lock Joe McCarthy has been included along with Leinster teammates, centre Ciaran Frawley and winger Jimmy O'Brien, with Munster prop Jeremy Loughman and Connacht back-row Cian Prendergast rounding out the uncapped picks.

Hooker Ronan Kelleher, winger Andrew Conway, Robert Baloucoune and centre Chris Farrell have been omitted from the Johnny Sexton-captained squad due to injuries.

The series kicks off at Eden Park on July 2, with tests in Dunedin and Wellington over the following two weeks.

Ireland will warm up for the first test with a match against the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton on June 29 and play another midweek fixture against them on July 12 in Wellington.

"This is the start of our Rugby World Cup campaign and it is going to be a fantastic challenge for our group facing five massive tests across the three weeks," Farrell said.

It will be Ireland's first southern hemisphere tour since beating Australia 2-1 in 2018 and their first to New Zealand since 2012.

"Due to COVID we haven't had an opportunity to tour, and touring plays a massive role in teams gelling together and building cohesion on and off the field," Farrell added.

Connacht coach Peter Wilkins will join Farrell's staff as an assistant for the duration of the tour.

Ireland beat the All Blacks 29-20 in Dublin last November but have never beaten the hosts in New Zealand.

Ireland can expect a testing warm-up against the Maori All Blacks, with their coach Clayton McMillan naming a slew of internationals in a squad released on Wednesday.

Seasoned scrum-halves TJ Perenara and Brad Weber, and prop Tyrel Lomax, were included along with one-test fullback Josh Ioane in the representative side which beat Ireland 31-28 in Rotorua in their last meeting in 2010.

Ireland Squad

Backs:

Bundee Aki, Harry Byrne, Joey Carbery, Craig Casey, Keith Earls, Ciaran Frawley, Jamison Gibson Park, Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, James Hume, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Michael Lowry, Conor Murray, Jimmy O'Brien, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton

Forwards:

Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Peter O'Mahony, Tom O'Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Nick Timoney, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier