Sean Cronin was the headline omission from the Ireland training squad named on Wednesday ahead of this weekend's Guinness Six Nations game against France.
The Leinster hooker had started Ireland's previous game against Italy. It had been presumed that Cronin's absence was down to his poor performance in that win. The 32-year-old was a cog in a lineout which did not operate well.
However, Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby said that Cronin being omitted is a consequence of a squad building process rather than him paying the price for that disappointing showing.
"We're looking continually to build some depth in positions," said Easterby.
Sean has been involved in the first three games, he has started in Italy, and in a specialist position like hooker... It's probably only nine and maybe 10 where you don't get guys playing other positions - you get props who can switch sides, you get locks who can play both sides or in the backrow.
We're just looking to continually build some depth and find out a little bit more about players that we need to work with towards what's coming up in the next couple of weeks and the end of the year.
"We know a lot about Sean, he has been in camp a long time, he has been in the squad a long time and has a lot of caps," added Easterby.
"It's an opportunity for us to see a bit more of other players. That doesn't exclude him from next week and it certainly doesn't exclude him from us going forward."
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