World Rugby vice president Agustin Pichot thinks Devin Toner should be asking the governing body "for answers" following his exclusion from Ireland's World Cup squad.

Toner was left out of the 31-man squad announced by Joe Schmidt on Monday, with the Ireland head coach calling up Munster's Jean Kleyn instead.

Kleyn only became eligible to play for Ireland last month, having moved from South Africa three years ago, and earned just two caps for the country prior to his selection for the tournament in Japan.

Pichot, who played international rugby for Argentina as a scrum-half, took to social media to express his sympathy for Toner.

"If I was Devin Toner...I will be asking WR (World Rugby) for answers. I feel sorry for him; nothing against for who was properly selected for the RWC19 by the way. But feel that way," said Pichot on Twitter.

If I was Devin Toner ..... I will be asking WR for answers. I feel sorry for him; nothing against for who was properly selected for the RWC19 by the way. But feel that way.

— agustin pichot (@AP9_) September 2, 2019

The decision has sparked criticism of a similar nature at home. Former Irish international and Grand Slam winner Luke Fitzgerald, who has long been a critic of the residency rules, tweeted: "Looking like South Africa v South Africa 'A' in the World Cup QF...if all goes to plan"

Leinster lock Toner has been one of Schmidt's most trusted lieutenants since his appointment as Ireland boss in 2013.

But Kleyn has been given the nod ahead of the 33-year-old, with Schmidt selecting him alongside Iain Henderson, James Ryan and Tadhg Beirne in a four-strong lock cordon.