Brian O’Driscoll has been named captain of the Ireland squad for the upcoming autumn internationals against Canada, New Zealand and Argentina.
The 85-time capped 29-year-old, who has already captained Ireland on over 40 occasions, heads a squad of 41 players, who assemble for a week’s training in Limerick on Monday next.
At the conclusion of that camp, the Ireland squad will be reduced to approximately 30 players, from which the 22-man squad to play Canada, in Thomond Park on November 8, will be named.
The games against the All Blacks and Argentina take place in Croke Park on November 15 and 22 respectively.
Munster’s Keith Earls, who has played so well in the early part of this season, is also included in the squad.
Coach Declan Kidney said: "I am delighted that Brian has agreed to captain the squad.
“I have also opted to name a bigger squad than originally anticipated so that we can continue to familiarise a largely new-look backroom staff with a wider group of players.”
Backs: Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Ian Dowling (Shannon - Munster), Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College - Leinster), Gavin Duffy (Galwegians - Connacht), Keith Earls (Young Munster - Munster), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College - Leinster), Shane Horgan (Boyne - Leinster), Robert Kearney (UCD - Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Barry Murphy (UL Bohemians - Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD - Leinster, captain), Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution - Munster), Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin - Munster), Eoin Reddan (Wasps), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College - Leinster), Peter Stringer (Shannon - Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena - Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ballymena - Ulster).
Forwards: Rory Best (Banbridge - Ulster), Tony Buckley (Shannon - Munster), Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon - Ulster), Bob Casey (London Irish), Tom Court (Malone - Ulster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon - Ulster), Jerry Flannery (Shannon - Munster), John Hayes (Shannon - Munster),
Cian Healy (Clontarf - Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Naas - Leinster), Marcus Horan (Shannon - Munster), Bernard Jackman (Clontarf - Leinster), Shane Jennings (St. Mary’s College - Leinster),
Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution - Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution - Munster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster - Munster), Malcolm O’Kelly (St. Mary’s College - Leinster), Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution - Munster), Alan Quinlan (Shannon - Munster), Michael Ross (Harlequins), Donncha Ryan (Shannon - Munster), David Wallace (Garryowen - Munster), Roger Wilson (Northampton)