Included among the 34 is Mike Mullins who has been particularly impressive going forward for Munster in recent Heineken Cup games. Mullins scored a try last Saturday in Treviso and created the one Jeremy Staunton scored and his reward is to be named for the squad that will be culled on Thursday February 5th.
O'Sulivan, after naming Brian O'Driscoll skipper for the season, also nominated five vice-captains and they include three Munster men, Anthony Foley, Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara.
The squad includes Frank Sheahan and Marcus Horan. Horan missed Munster's last game with a back strain but he is expected to be named in Alan Gaffney's side when it is announced Thursday. Sheahan is unlikely to play having suffered a slight knee injury, a set-back that is not expected to be for very long with Sheahan expected to be back training in a little over a week.
Jeremy Staunton is a surprise omission as is the man who replaced him in the Munster team, Shaun Payne. Payne picked up a knee bruising at a most inopportune time last Saturday having impressed since taking over the number 15 shirt against Connacht prior to the game against Gloucester in Kingsholm.
Since then Payne has caught the eye and has easily been the best performer in that position among the home sides competing in the Heineken Cup. Staunton did well when he came on for Payne in Italy but probably just didn't have enough games under his belt to force his way into the squad.
The Ireland squad of 34 to take part in a preliminary RBS Six Nations championship training camp in Dublin from February 2 to 6, is: -
Forwards (17): Simon Best (Ulster Belfast Harlequins), Shane Byrne (Leinster Blackrock College), Reggie Corrigan (Leinster Greystones), Victor Costello (Leinster St. Mary s College), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), Anthony Foley (Munster Shannon), Keith Gleeson (Leinster St. Mary s College), John Hayes (Munster Shannon), Marcus Horan (Munster Shannon), Bernard Jackman (Connacht Clontarf), Gary Longwell (Ulster Ballymena), Eric Miller (Leinster Terenure College), Donncha O Callaghan (Munster Cork Constitution), Paul O Connell (Munster Young Munster), Malcolm O Kelly (Leinster St. Mary s College), Frank Sheahan (Munster Cork Constitution), David Wallace (Munster Garryowen).
Backs (17): Paul Burke (Harlequins), Gordon Darcy (Leinster Lansdowne), Girvan Dempsey (Leinster Terenure College), Neil Doak (Ulster Belfast Harlequins), Gavin Duffy (Harlequins), Guy Easterby (Rotherham),Rob Henderson (Munster Garryowen), Anthony Horgan (Munster Cork Constitution), Shane Horgan (Leinster Shannon), Tyrone Howe (Ulster Dungannon), David Humphreys (Ulster Dungannon), John Kelly (Munster Cork Constitution), Kevin Maggs (Bath), Brian O Driscoll (Leinster Blackrock College), Mike Mullins (Munster Old Crescent), Ronan O Gara (Munster Cork Constitution), Peter Stringer (Munster Shannon).
Not considered due to injury: Jonathan Bell (Ulster Dungannon), Emmet Byrne (Leinster St. Mary s College), Leo Cullen (Leinster Blackrock College), Denis Hickie (Leinster St. Mary s College), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Alan Quinlan (Munster Shannon).
The following players are currently injured and their availability is subject to medical clearance: Simon Easterby, Marcus Horan, Eric Miller, Brian O Driscoll.
Brian O Driscoll has been named as Captain of Ireland for the 2004 RBS Six Nations Championship.
Five players have been named as vice-Captains: Reggie Corrigan, Anthony Foley, David Humphreys, Paul O Connell and Ronan O Gara.
The squad of 34 will be reduced to 22 on Thursday February 5th and the team to play France in Paris on February 14th will be named from that panel on Tuesday, February 10th.