Ulster Rugby hooker Rory Best - disappointed to miss out on selection for the British & Irish Lions tour squad - will captain Ireland on their North America tour this summer.
Best will lead a 28-man squad that includes six uncapped players - Connacht scrum half Kieran Marmion, Ulster and Ireland U20 centre Stuart Olding, Connacht full back Robbie Henshaw, Leinster tight-head Jamie Hagan and Munster's openside Tommy O Donnell and hooker Mike Sherry.
Ireland, stripped of a host of leading names who will be on Lions duty, will tackle the USA in Houston on June 8 and Canada in Toronto on June 15. Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris, centre Luke Marshall, the Leinster trio of scrum-half Eoin Reddan, winger Luke Fitzgerald and centre Gordon D'Arcy, Connacht centre David McSharry and Munster centre Keith Earls and prop Stephen Archer were not considered due to injury.
The Irish Rugby Football Union has also announced the Emerging Ireland squad that will compete in the Tbilisi Cup in Georgia next month. A 26-man squad will be captained by Leinster back row Rhys Ruddock.
Acting head coach Les Kiss, who will take charge of the tour with new boss Joe Schmidt set to travel as an observer, said:
"Both tours are hugely important in the context of providing valuable game exposure, building depth and gaining experience in the Irish jersey.
"For the North America tour we have selected a squad who I believe have the right mix of youth and experience and I'm really looking forward to working with them over the next few weeks. USA and Canada have improved enormously since the 2011 RWC and we know we will be in for two tough test matches."
"The Georgian Tour will be a great experience for the players, most of who have recently come through the Ireland underage system. It will be a tough tour with three games in 14 days and a smaller squad of 26 players, which should mean everyone getting significant game time."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.