Three uncapped players in Ireland squad for November internationals

Ulster utility back Will Addison
Ulster utility back Will Addison has played for England Under-20s

Uncapped players Ross Byrne, Will Addison and Sam Arnold have been named in a 42-man Ireland squad for the four-Test November international series.

Ulster utility back Addison has impressed since moving from Sale while fly-half Byrne was part of the squad which toured Australia in the summer.

Scrum-half Conor Murray is an injury absentee but his Munster team-mate Arnold receives a call-up.

Ireland play Italy in Chicago then host Argentina, New Zealand and the USA.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is expected to rotate heavily and several regular starters are set to be left at home as the rest of the squad travel to Soldier Field to face the Italians on 3 November.

A number of key men will then return to face Argentina on 10 November and for the meetings of the world's top two a week later, before the fringe players are given another opportunity to impress against the United States on 24 November.

Addison offers 'flexibility'

Addison joined the Ireland squad for training in Melbourne during Ireland's summer tour which saw Schmidt's side beat the Wallabies 2-1 in the Test series.

The 26-year-old was also part of a 50-strong training squad at Carton House in August and is one of three Ireland-qualified English players brought into the Irish provinces this summer, along with Ulster team-mate Billy Burns and Munster full-back Mike Haley.

Addison's flexibility in being able to cover a range of key positions could count in his favour as competition for places hots up with less than a year to go until the World Cup.

Only 31 players can travel to Japan and after the autumn internationals Ireland have five Six Nations games and four World Cup warm-ups to fine tune their plans as they target a first-ever semi-final appearance.

Conor Murray has not played since Ireland's 20-16 deciding Test win over Australia in Sydney in June
Conor Murray has not played since Ireland's 20-16 deciding Test win over Australia in Sydney in June

Murray seldom missing

Murray has not played for four months since the last Test in Sydney because of a neck injury but recently agreed a new deal to remain with Munster and Ireland until 2022.

The scrum-half has rarely missed a game under Schmidt and his presence is key to the New Zealander's game plan but Kieran Marmion, Luke McGrath and John Cooney all have creditable claims for the number nine shirt in his absence.

Marmion and Cooney both toured Australia but McGrath is restored to the squad after missing out on the trip down under.

Leinster full-back Byrne was an unused replacement in the third Test while Ulster hooker Best has been short of game time since recovering from the hamstring injury which kept him out of the trip to Australia.

Dan Leavy and Sean O'Brien also need games after injury-disrupted starts to the season.

Joey Carbery is a likely starter against Italy and the United States with Connacht forwards Finlay Bealham and Quinn Roux and Munster trio Darren Sweetnam, Dave Kilcoyne and Arnold rewarded for their early-season from by inclusion in the squad.

Italy and Benetton fly-half Ian McKinley
Fly-half Ian McKinley uses protective goggles when playing for Italy and Benetton

Italy include McKinley for Chicago contest

Irishman Ian McKinley has been included in the Italy squad for the opening match on 3 November.

Head coach Conor O'Shea has taken the unusual step of naming his team 10 days in advance with McKinley, who lost the sight in his left eye in 2011, selected among the substitutes.

The Dublin-born fly-half, who plays for Pro14 side Benetton, made his Test debut for Italy during last year's November series but did not feature for the Azzurri during their Six Nations campaign.

Zebre's South African flanker Johan Meyer will win his first cap for Italy in the back-row with his club-mate Jimmy Tuivaiti also set to make his Test bow from the bench.

Ireland squad for November internationals

Backs: R Kearney (Leinster), W Addison (Ulster), A Conway (Munster), D Sweetnam (Munster), K Earls (Munster), J Larmour (Leinster), J Stockdale (Ulster), R Henshaw (Leinster), G Ringrose (Leinster), B Aki (Connacht), S Arnold (Munster), S McCloskey (Ulster), J Sexton (Leinster), R Byrne (Leinster), J Carbery (Munster), K Marmion (Connacht), J Cooney (Ulster), L McGrath (Leinster).

Forwards: C Healy (Leinster), J McGrath (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), N Scannell (Munster), R Best (Capt, Ulster), S Cronin (Leinster), R Herring (Ulster), T Furlong (Leinster), A Porter (Leinster), F Bealham (Connacht), John Ryan (Munster), James Ryan (Leinster), I Henderson (Ulster), D Toner (Leinster), Q Roux (Connacht), T Beirne (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D Leavy (Leinster), J Conan (Leinster), R Ruddock (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), J van der Flier (Leinster), J Murphy (Ulster).