Rugby Ireland name extended squad for Italy warm-up match as two players are cut from squad

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Rugby Ultan Dillane is one of two players released back to provincial duty. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ultan Dillane is one of two players released back to provincial duty. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Joe Schmidt has named an extended 43-man squad for the opening World Cup warm-up game against Italy on Saturday.

Ireland host the Azzurri at the Aviva Stadium in a game that kicks off at 2pm, and will serve as the first of four hit-outs ahead of the opening World Cup pool match against Scotland.

23 forwards and 20 backs have been named in the squad for the game, which will be cut to a 23-man matchday panel later in the week.

The IRFU have said that Connacht second row Ultan Dillane and Munster centre Rory Scannell have returned to their provincial squads.

After hosting Italy, Ireland have a weekend off before travelling to Twickenham to face England on August 24.

Schmidt’s side then play Wales in Cardiff on August 31 before finishing their preparations in Dublin against Warren Gatland’s men on September 7.

Ireland Squad (v Italy, Guinness Series 2019, Saturday, August 10, Aviva Stadium, 2pm)

Forwards (23)

Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 9 caps

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 117 caps

Tadhg Beirne (Lansdow

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