Ireland Announce 31 Man World Cup Squad

Ireland have announced their 31 man squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup which begins in just over two weeks time.

Joe Schmidt has confirmed widespread rumours that winger Andrew Trimble has failed to secure a place in the squad after a toe injury at the start of this year. Despite returning to training, the 30 year old Ulster player will not feature in this year’s World Cup alongside club team-mates Darren Cave, Rory Best, Chris Henry, Iain Henderson, Tommy Bowe, Paddy Jackson and Jared Payne. Fellow Ulster winger Craig Gilroy has also been omitted from the squad, for which Schmidt said

“There were some very tight decisions, particularly in the back three and it was also a challenge to make sure that key positions were covered as much as a squad of 31 players allows.

Just two scrum-halves were chosen in the form of Conor Murray and Eoin Murray. The number 10 jersey will be shared between playmaker Johnny Sexton, Leinster’s Ian Madigan and Jackson.

In the front row, Cian Healy has been selected despite not having played in any of the warm-up matches as he recovers from neck surgery. With the coaches placing faith in the loosehead to regain match fitness in the final few days of preparation, Jack McGrath provides cover whilst Tadhg Furlong is a somewhat surprise inclusion after having recieved his only cap on Saturday against Wales. Schmidt admitted that it was difficult to make the cuts, however due to the nature of the sport he still keeps in mind those unfortunate enough to have missed out:

“A number of players were very unlucky to miss selection. We know from observing past World Cups that it’s important for us to keep track of their performances because some of them are likely to be involved in the tournament.”

Rob Kearney retains the number 15 shirt, whilst Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Simon and Payne are included as cover for the full-back.

Ireland veteran Gordon D’Arcy has been left out of the 31, fuelling talk that this signals the end of his international career.

This final World Cup squad, led by captain Paul O’Connell, are currently preparing for Saturday’s warm-up battle against England at Twickenham, 2.30pm kick off.

 

Forwards (17):

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 84 caps
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 45 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 1 cap
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 51 caps
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) 74 caps
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 19 caps
Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster) 18 caps
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 19 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 12 caps
Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 36 caps
Paul O’Connell (Munster) 103 caps (Captain)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 31 caps
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster) 51 caps
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster) 30 caps
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster) 9 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 26 caps
Nathan White (Connacht) 2 caps

Backs (14):

Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 62 caps
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 9 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 41 caps
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster) 30 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht) 11 caps
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) 12 caps
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 9 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 63 caps
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster) 20 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 36 caps
Jared Payne (Ulster) 7 caps
Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster) 63 caps
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 52 caps
Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) 17 caps

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