Rory Best captains Ireland's 28-man squad to North America

Last Updated: 19/05/13 1:53pm

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Rory Best: Captaining Ireland to North America

Rory Best: Captaining Ireland to North America

Sky Bet

Ulster hooker Rory Best will captain Ireland on their tour of North America this summer.

Best, who was to some a surprise omission from the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, will lead a 28-man squad to North America for matches against the USA on June 8 and Canada on June 15.

The squad includes six uncapped players in Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion, Ulster centre Stuart Olding, Connacht fullback Robbie Henshaw, Leinster prop Jamie Hagan and Munster's openside Tommy O Donnell and hooker Mike Sherry.

A host of star names are absent with the Lions while Stephen Ferris, Luke Marshall, Eoin Reddan, Luke Fitzgerald, Gordon D'Arcy, David McSharry, Keith Earls and Stephen Archer were all not considered due to injury.

Les Kiss will take charge of the tour with Joe Schmidt - the long-term replacement for former head caoch Declan Kidney - set to travel with the squad as an observer.

Kiss will continue as an assistant coach to Schmidt, with responsibility for Ireland's defence, after the summer tour.

"We've had a simple conversation and I'm very happy to be involved. I'm looking forward to working with Joe," Kiss said.

"I've known Joe since he came to Ireland and have worked with him before at the start of his Leinster tenure. We get on well."

On the tour to North America, Kiss said: "For the North America tour we have selected a squad who I believe have the right mix of youth and experience and I'm really looking forward to working with them over the next few weeks.

"USA and Canada have improved enormously since the 2011 RWC and we know we will be in for two tough test matches."

Forwards: R Best (Ulster, capt), T Court (Ulster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), J Hagan (Leinster), I Henderson (Ulster), C Henry (Ulster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), M McCarthy (Connacht), K McLaughlin (Leinster), T O'Donnell (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), M Ross (Leinster), M Sherry (Munster), R Strauss (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster), D Tuohy (Ulster)

Backs: I Boss (Leinster), D Cave (Ulster), R Henshaw (Connacht), P Jackson (Ulster), F Jones (Munster), I Madigan (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), P Marshall (Ulster), F McFadden (Leinster), S Olding (Ulster), A Trimble (Ulster), S Zebo (Munster)

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