Ireland are hopeful scrum-half Eoin Reddan will overcome injury in time to face Italy in their Six Nations opener.
The winners of the Six Nations Championship will lift a brand new trophy this year.
Leinster's Luke Fitzgerald is hoping to put a injury-hit 2014 behind him by starting in Ireland's Six Nations opener.
Ireland were dealt a blow ahead of their Six Nations defence with news of injuries to Dave Kearney and Eoin Reddan.
The concentrated strength of talent in the Irish squad is a credit to the work Joe Schmidt has done for Ireland, says Paul Wallace.
Cian Healy and Sean O'Brien moved a step closer towards Six Nations action
after being named in Ireland's 46-man squad.
Ireland are likely to be without Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson for the Six Nations after he suffered a dislocated elbow.
Jack McGrath will serve his three-week ban for stamping after Leinster decided not to appeal the decision.
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