As Andy Farrell prepared to select his first Six Nations squad, intrigue surrounded the emerging talents he would deem worthy of inclusion.

Ultimately, the Ireland head coach has gone for five new faces, outside of the quartet of development players who will train with the squad at the warm weather camp in Portugal and then in the lead-up to the opening game against Scotland.

Farrell has selected the five uncapped players from two of the four provinces.

Ulster's Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole make the cut, and the Leinster trio of Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher are the other new players to feature in the panel.

So what are the standout stats from that quintet in the 2019-20 season so far?

Billy Burns

Only Leinster's Jamison Gibson-Park has more try assists than the Ulster out-half's five during the Guinness Pro14 season up to now. 

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The Bath-born player has also made a total of 246 passes this campaign, while going over for two tries of his own against Cardiff and Connacht respectively.

Max Deegan

The back row has made a try-scoring impact, especially in his last three Leinster appearances.

Deegan has weighed in with five tries in matches against Lyon, Connacht and Ulster since late December to add to two against Lyon again and Ospreys in the autumn. Two of those seven tries have also come in the Champions Cup as Leinster progressed to the quarter-finals.

But in terms of creativity and vision, he also ranks highly when it comes to try assists in the Pro14 with three to his name. 

Caelan Doris, left, and Max Deegan in March 2019
Caelan Doris, left, and Max Deegan in March 2019

Caelan Doris

The Mayo-born back row features among the players with most Pro14 turnovers in 2019-20.

Thus far, he has made six this season as well as making 127 tackles in 12 domestic showings.

When it comes to try-scoring, he has contributed two to the Leinster cause against Edinburgh and Northampton in the Pro14 and Champions Cup respectively.

Ronan Kelleher

The hooker made a truly spectacular start to the season when it came to try-scoring. In eight matches across all competitions, the 21-year-old crossed the try-line seven times for Leinster.

Most eye-catching of all was the hat-trick he notched against Ospreys in early October. He also crossed over for two more in a demolition of Connacht just over a month later in a man-of-the-match performance.

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His overall domestic try tally of six puts him joint-second on the Pro14's try-scoring list for 2019-20.

Tom O'Toole

The Ulster prop arrives in the Ireland squad off the back of 103 tackles and 91 metres gained across 572 minutes of action.

The 21-year-old's sole try of the campaign arrived on 13 December in the Champions Cup against Harlequins when he latched onto a pass inside and powered over, fending off two tacklers.

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