Jamie Heaslip has been selected ahead of Brian O’Driscoll as Ireland captain for the Six Nations campaign.
The Leinster number eight leads the team despite the return from injury of O’Driscoll, who said he was “very disappointed” not to be skipper for the series.
There are six uncapped players in the 39-man Six Nations training squad.
Ulster’s Rory Best, Tom CXourt, Iain Henderson, Darren Cave and Craig Gilroy aall included.re
They are Ulster trio Paddy Jackson, Lewis Stevenson and Paul Marshall along with Ian Madigan, Dave McSharry and Robbie Henshaw.
Jamie Heaslip said, “I was incredibly honoured when Declan asked me back in November to lead the team in Brian’s absence. To lead your country is the ultimate in any sport. To get the opportunity again, considering what an inspirational leader Brian is and the other players who could have been chosen to captain the team, is even more humbling.
“I know Brian as a teammate and as a friend and I will be relying on his and the other players support as we head into the Championship.”