Robert Baloucoune: Ulster winger out of Ireland’s tour of New Zealand
Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune has been ruled out of Ireland’s summer tour of New Zealand.
Baloucoune was forced off early in the second half of Ulster’s United Rugby Championship semi-final defeat by the Stormers on Saturday.
Johnny Sexton will captain the 40-man squad and his Leinster team-mate Ciaran Frawley is one of five uncapped players included.
Ireland will face the All Blacks in three Tests this July.
Andy Farrell’s side will also play three fixtures against the Maori All Blacks.
Sexton will captain the squad in what will be Ireland’s first tour since the 2018 series win over Australia.
Ireland have not visited New Zealand since 2012 and five players in the current squad – Cian Healy, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton and Keith Earls – were on the tour 10 years ago.
Centre Frawley is one of the five uncapped players name, along with Leinster team-mates Joe McCarthy and Jimmy O’Brien, Munster’s Jeremy Loughman and Connacht’s Cian Prendergast.
Andrew Conway joins Baloucoune as a high-profile absentee while Chris Farrell and Ronan Kelleher have also missed out through injury.
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,” said Farrell.
“We will learn so much about the players and the group as a whole as we have to front up for five incredibly tough fixtures, far from the comforts of home and in grounds where the home support will greatly outnumber travelling Irish fans.”
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, Johnny Sexton
Forwards: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Dori, Tadhg Furlong, ian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahon, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Nick Timoney, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier.