Ireland coach Joe Schmidt officially named his 31-player squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup on Tuesday this morning and admitted that some of the decisions were “very tight”.
Many eyebrows were raised by his decision to only bring two specialist scrum-halves to the tournament which is being held in England later this month.
Two surprises in the squad were Ulster centre Darren Cave and Leinster tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong. The biggest surprise was the omission of the Player of the year for 2014 Andrew Trimble, overlooked for one of the back three places.
Head coach Schmidt had spoke recently that making this squad selection would be the most difficult task of his coaching career. There is a way back however and any one of the players left out could receive an 11th hour call up should any of the squad members suffer an injury.
Ireland World Cup squad:
Forwards: Rory Best, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip,
Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Nathan White
Backs: Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, David Kearney, Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan, Conor Murray, Jared Payne, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton, Simon Zebo
Ireland’s World Cup Group Fixtures:
|Sat 19 Sep||14:30||RWC-PD||Ireland||v||Canada||Millennium Stadium|
|Sun 27 Sep||16:45||RWC-PD||Ireland||v||Romania||Wembley Stadium|
|Sun 4 Oct||16:45||RWC-PD||Ireland||v||Italy||Olympic Stadium|
|Sun 11 Oct||16:45||RWC-PD||France||v||Ireland||Millennium Stadium|