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Trimble/Boss miss out on World Cup
01 Sep 2015 10:10
The IRFU have named the 31-man Ireland squad for the World Cup and as expected, Andrew Trimble, Isaac Boss and Felix Jones have all missed out on selection.
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Injury problems have ended Trimble's hopes, while head coach Joe Schmidt has gone with just two scrum-halves in Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan, opting to leave Boss out.
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The versatile Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald, who picked up knocks in Saturday's loss to Wales, were named among 14 backs, with Ulster's Darren Cave travelling as specialist cover at centre and out-half Ian Madigan set to be an emergency fall back option at number nine.
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Leinster's Tadhg Furlong, who only made his debut off the bench for Ireland against Wales last Saturday, is a surprise inclusion, offering support at tighthead with Mike Ross and Nathan White ahead of him in the pecking order.
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In the hotly contested back three division, along with Trimble’s exclusion, Munster’s Jones, Leinster’s Fergus McFadden and Ulster's Craig Gilroy have all failed to make the squad.
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Schmidt confirmed that selecting the squad was one of the most difficult tasks his coaching group have faced.
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"The players have worked incredibly hard over the past two months. Sunday was a difficult and very long day for the coaching team and an anxious one for many players," he said.
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"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.
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"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."
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The squad was not expected to be announced until this afternoon but it appears that a leak has forced the IRFU's hand.
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The squad is made up of 17 forwards and 14 backs and will be captained by Toulon's Paul O'Connell, who is the most capped player in the Ireland group with 103 caps.
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Ireland Rugby World Cup squad:
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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.
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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 .
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