Rugby-Zebo returns for Ireland, Henshaw out for now


FILE PHOTO: Britain Rugby Union - Wales v Ireland - Six Nations Championship - Principality Stadium, Cardiff - 10/3/17 Ireland's Simon Zebo in action Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Simon Zebo was named in an Ireland squad for the first time since 2017 after his return to domestic club rugby this season, but Robbie Henshaw missed out on Wednesday's initial 38-man selection for their autumn internationals due to a knee injury.

Zebo's international career stalled at 35 caps and nine tries after the 31-year-old winger's three-year spell at France's Racing 92 fell foul of the Irish rugby union's rule of only picking players from Ireland's four provinces.

The winger made a try-scoring return for in-form Munster last month, touching down twice in his first game back at Thomond Park.

Leinster centre Henshaw, an ever-present in the British and Irish Lions' three Tests against South Africa, will continue his rehabilitation programme under the supervision of the Ireland medical team, the union said.

Coach Andy Farrell named an otherwise strong squad with captain Johnny Sexton set to become just the seventh Irish player to win 100 caps with his next appearance.

Farrell also included two uncapped players - the Leinster duo of Dan Sheehan and Ciaran Frawley - for next month's home Tests against Japan, New Zealand and Argentina.

Frawley, who can play across the backline, put in a man-of-the-match performance at inside centre for Leinster on Saturday. The highly rated, powerful hooker Sheehan, also 23, came off the bench to score two tries in the same game.

Forwards: Ryan Baird (Leinster, 5 caps), Finlay Bealham (Connacht, 16 caps), Tadhg Beirne (Munster, 22 caps) Jack Conan (Leinster, 20 caps) Gavin Coombes (Munster, 2 caps) Ultan Dillane (Connacht, 19 caps) Caelan Doris (Leinster, 9 caps) Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, 49 caps) Cian Healy (Leinster, 109 caps), Iain Henderson (Ulster, 63 caps) Rob Herring (Ulster, 22 caps) Ronan Kelleher (Leinster, 13 caps) Dave Kilcoyne (Munster, 45 caps) Peter O'Mahony (Munster, 76 caps) Tom O'Toole (Ulster, 1 cap) Andrew Porter (Leinster, 37 caps) James Ryan (Leinster, 37 caps) Dan Sheehan (Leinster, uncapped) Nick Timoney (Ulster, 1 cap) Josh van der Flier (Leinster, 32 caps)

Backs: Bundee Aki (Connacht, 31 caps), Robert Baloucoune (Ulster, 1 cap), Harry Byrne (Leinster, 1 cap), Joey Carbery (Munster, 24 caps), Craig Casey (Munster, 3 caps), Andrew Conway (Munster, 25 caps), Keith Earls (Munster, 93 caps), Ciaran Frawley (Leinster, uncapped), Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster, 10 caps) James Hume (Ulster, 1 cap), Hugo Keenan (Leinster, 13 caps), Jordan Larmour (Leinster, 30 caps), James Lowe (Leinster, 6 caps), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster, 5 caps), Conor Murray (Munster, 89 caps) Garry Ringrose (Leinster, 34 caps), Johnny Sexton (Leinster, 99 caps), Simon Zebo (Munster, 35 caps)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Davis)

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