The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Meanwhile, Rob Kearney is absent from the 31-man squad which begins the autumn campaign against the Springboks on November 10 after it was revealed yesterday that he requires an operation on his back but he remains hopeful he will be fit for the 2013 RBS 6 Nations.
"We have three incredibly competitive games ahead of us in November and while there have been quite a few injuries and niggles in the early part of the season, it has opened up opportunities for other players to step into the squad,” said Kidney.
“There are world ranking points on offer, so the underlying challenge for us is to work towards retaining and improving our ranking position ahead of the Rugby World Cup pool draw.
“While that is the end goal, our focus will be getting our preparations right to match the intensity of international games.”
As well as the selection of four uncapped players, Kidney also revealed a change to his coaching staff with current Munster assistant and former international Anthony Foley joining the coaching team.
Foley will be leading the defence, allowing assistant coach Les Kiss to lead the attack as well as continue to coach the backline.
It was also confirmed that Leinster scrum coach, Greg Feek will continue providing his expertise to the Ireland team during competition time.
"I'm pleased that Anthony has taken up the offer of working with the squad to assist during this vital period in November.
"His previous experience of working with the team during the last RBS 6 Nations championship was important, but his own abilities and experience were central to bringing him onboard,” added Kidney.
“I would like to thank Rob Penney and Joe Schmidt for being so positive and giving Anthony Foley and Greg the scope to be part of the plans that we have."