Ireland’s Preliminary Rugby World Cup Squad

Declan Kidney has named a 43-man training squad to prepare for the Rugby World Cup this summer.

There are four uncapped players in the shape of Felix Jones, Mike McCarthy, Conor Murray and Brett Wilkinson, whilst Shane Horgan, Ian Humphries and Nevin Spence miss out through injury.

Whilst this is obviously indicative of Kidney’s World Cup plans, he did leave the option open to make changes if necessary: “There are players who we have identified as part of the larger Rugby World Cup squad who will not be in the first camp and will be based with their provincial and club fitness staff, but that may change as we go through June and July, so none of that larger group are necessarily out of contention for the final squad”.

Are there any surprise inclusions or omissions?

Backs (19):

Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht)
Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Geordan Murphy (Leicester)
Conor Murray (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster)
Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

Forwards (24):

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks)
Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
Sean Cronin (Leinster)
Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
Shane Jennings (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Michael Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
Damien Varley (Garryown/Munster)
David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
Brett Wilkinson (Galwegians/Connacht)

Not considered due to injury:
Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster) – Knee
Ian Humphries (Ballymena/Ulster) – Shoulder
Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster) – shoulder

7 thoughts on “Ireland’s Preliminary Rugby World Cup Squad

    1. I wish it wasn’t the case, but Kidney is keeping Downey firmly off his radar – don’t think he’ll wear green as long as Kidney’s in charge. Of course, if it’s a bad World Cup, that’s only until the end of the year.
      Tough to find too many surprises in a 43-man squad though – I nearly made it in by the look of it, and I last played rugby aged 12.

      1. There’s a history of overseas-based players being overlooked / excluded for the Irish side, and players like Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings have only really had a look in since they moved back.

        Nothing too remarkable here otherwise. I wasn’t considered due to injury unfortunately.

  1. I was at a dinner last week with some Irish mates, and actually managed to convince myself that we’d get an Ireland v England semi-final. If the Irish beat Australia in the group, they’ll face Fiji or Samoa (or Wales) in the QFs, whilst England are likely to play France if they win the pool.

    That would make a great semi-final, and the Irish would probably be favourites!

    How far can this squad go do you think?

  2. I am very happy with the squad that was named today. When you consider that Shane Horgan and Nevin Spence are injured, the two players who werent included are Devin Toner and Rhys Ruddock but I thought neither of them would have entered contention anyway unless there was an injury crisis which is more than likely what Kidney was reffering to when he said he would be keeping his eye on players outside the squad.
    The one concern I would have it with the fitness of Jerry Flannery. He needs to prove that he can play regularly between now and the cut off point for squad selection.
    As for the debate about players not playing in the Rabodirect Pro12 being included in the squad unless you are a exceptional talent like Geordan Murphy you will not be selected and to be fair neither James Downey or Roger Wilson are. If they were that good they would not have been left go by the provinces ( Geordan never played Provincial rugby in Ireland before joining the Tigers) You must remember that Kidney has much more control over a player in the Pro 12 because there is a understanding that players should be released to there national side whenever there is a training camp or game. As we have seen with English and French based players they only get released for IRB approved windows. So I think that has to be considered when making selections though I reiterate that if you are better than any other player in the squad in your position you should be accomodated if possible.

  3. if paddy wallace is brought!! its a joke especially if it is at the sake of mc fadden who is much stronger in all areas! downey does what he does well but bar the english midfield he would never get a look in!! very one dimensional

  4. im 110 percent irish and living in wales i think this ireland team can go very far maybe the final!! and i cant wait too rub it in everybodys face up the rep!!! :D

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