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Six Nations: Ireland squad profile

Touted as one of the main contenders for the title before the tournament, here's all you need to know about Ireland ahead of the 2023 Six Nations.

Confirmed Squad


Ryan Baird (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Gavin Coombes (Munster), Caelan Doris (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Rob Herring (Ulster), Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Joe McCarthy (Leinster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Tom O'Toole (Ulster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), Cian Prendergast (Connacht), James Ryan (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster).


Bundee Aki (Connacht), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Craig Casey (Munster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Keith Earls (Munster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Mack Hansen (Connacht), Hugo Keenan (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster), James Lowe (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), Conor Murray (Munster), Jimmy O'Brien (Leinster), Jamie Osborne (Leinster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Jacob Stockdale (Ulster).


Formerly an assistant with England and the British & Irish Lions, Andy Farrell has been working wonders as the head coach with Ireland since succeeding Joe Schmidt in 2019.

A rugby league convert as a player, former Wigan Warriors and Saracens star Farrell is regarded as one of the top coaches in the international game. 

After leading Ireland to an historic first ever Test series win in New Zealand last summer, Farrell will have his eyes set on trying to guide the Irish to a first Six Nations title since 2018.

Possible First XV

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Mack Hansen
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Jamison Gibson-Park
8. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
6. Peter O'Mahony
5. James Ryan
4. Tadhg Beirne
3. Tadhg Furlong
2. Dan Sheehan
1. Andrew Porter


Ireland's game is based around a powerful and relentless pack of forwards and winning the territorial battle.

One of the best set-pieces in the competition, opposition sides will have to deal with Ireland's mauling, then try and bust through one of the most resilient defences in the international game.


A team with arguably very few weaknesses, Ireland might be criticised for lacking creativity at times in the back division.

If the Irish pack find themselves in an arm-wrestle and "Plan A" is not working, there are questions if they have the creative spark to potentially get themselves out of trouble.

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Key Players

Johnny Sexton

Potentially playing in his last ever Six Nations, Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton will be looking to lead from the front.

Recovering from injury just in time for the start of the tournament, the 37-year-old fly-half is a key figure in implementing Ireland's game plan on the field.

A superb kicking game from hand and with the tee, former World Player of the Year Sexton is set to be instrumental for the Irish in their hopes of landing the title.

Josh van der Flier

A powerful runner and defender, Josh van der Flier has emerged as one of the best flankers in the game.

The winner of the World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year award in 2022, van der Flier has taken his game to new heights.

Approaching 50 caps for his country, the 29-year-old from Wicklow will be looking to make his mark in this Six Nations.

Tadhg Furlong

Ireland are blessed with a number of world-class players in the forwards and tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong is another fine specimen. 

The 30-year-old has featured on two Lions tours and continues to be regarded as one of the best players in the world in that crucial tighthead position.

A key figure in a successful Leinster side in recent years, Furlong is an excellent set-piece prop, while also having surprising skills and agility when he does find space to run into.

Ones to watch

Leinster star Jamie Osbourne was the only uncapped player named in Farrell's squad for this year's Six Nations.

There might be others ahead of Osbourne in the pecking order in the centres but if given an opportunity, the 21-year-old is a giant player who can cause defences problems up the middle.

Meanwhile, a player who is no stranger to the international stage, winger Jacob Stockdale has returned to the Ireland squad.

Not featuring for his country since a summer Test against Japan in 2021, Stockdale has returned from a serious ankle injury and will be determined to prove he still has what it takes at Test level entering into this World Cup year. 


After finishing as runners up in the Six Nations last year, Ireland are the favourites at 11/8 to be crowned champions in 2023. 

Last winning a Grand Slam in 2018, the Irish are available at 3/1 to achieve a clean sweep this time around. 

Ireland make the trip to Wales on the opening weekend and then Scotland before hosting England in Dublin this season.

With that in mind, Ireland are 11/8 to beat the other home nations to win the Triple Crown.

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