O'Shea and O'Cuinneagain dropped from Irish squad
February 11, 2000

Ireland coach Warren Gatland has wielded the axe after his team crashed to an embarrassing 50-18 defeat to England with full-back Conor O'Shea and flanker Dion O'Cuinneagain the highest profile casualties.

Hooker Frank Sheahan has retained his place in the Irish squad to face Scotland in their second Six Nations game next week despite being fined £2,500 and "severely reprimanded" after an alleged attack on a fan following the team's defeat by England.

In other team news, scrum-half Tom Tierney is also left out from the Irish squad to face Scotland at Lansdowne Road.

The omission of London Irish skipper O'Shea, capped 35 times, means that Girvan Dempsey, who came on for O'Shea during the Twickenham debacle, is the only specialist full-back chosen.

British Lion Eric Miller is recalled, while Llanelli's in-form flanker Simon Easterby also increases Gatland's back row options.

Easterby is joined in the senior squad by his brother, Ebbw Vale scrum-half Guy, who replaces Tierney.

Lock Robert Casey wasn't considered because of injury, while fly-half Ronan O'Gara and lock Jeremy Davidson are back in contention following fitness problems that dashed their Twickenham hopes.

Ireland squad announced Friday for Six Nations against Scotland at Lansdowne Road on February 19:

Backs: Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College), Dennis Hickie (St Mary's College), Justin Bishop (London Irish/Eng), Kevin Maggs (Bath/Eng), Brian O'Driscoll (Blackrock College), Michael Mullins (Young Munster), Shane Horgan (Lansdowne), David Humphreys(Dungannon), Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution), Peter Stringer (Shannon), Guy Easterby (Ebbw Vale/Wal).

Forwards: John Hayes (Shannon), Peter Clohessy (Young Munster), Justin Fitzpatrick (Dungannon), Paul Wallace(Saracens/Eng), Keith Wood (Garryowen), Frank Sheahan (Cork Constitution), Jeremy Davidson (Castres/Fra), Malcolm O'Kelly (St. Mary's College), Mick Galwey (Shannon), Simon Easterby (Llanelli/Wal), Anthony Foley (Shannon), Kieron Dawson (London Irish/Eng), Trevor Brennan (St Mary's College), Eric Miller (Terenure College).

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