Ireland coach Declan Kidney today announced the 30 man squad for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The squad will be captained by Brian O’Driscoll and has a split of sixteen forwards and fourteen backs.
Fifteen players will be travelling to the Rugby World Cup for the first time including Ulster men Rory Best, Tom Court, Stephen Ferris, Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace. Nine of the forwards will be making their first appearance at a Rugby World Cup Squad while six of the backs will make their tournament début.
Ex Ulster scrum half Isaac Boss makes the cut at the expense of Thomas O’Leary and veteran Geordan Murphy makes the trip after loosing out last time round due to injury.
Tony Buckles and Keith Earls can count themselves lucky to be travelling after recent performances. Then again you could say that about a half the squad as Ireland have failed to excite in any of the warm-up games.
Despite the poor form, Ireland will be favourites to qualify from their group along with Australia with really only Italythe only hurdle to overcome. This leaves Ireland with five games to get their strategy sorted for what will likely be a semi-final against South Africa.
Ireland play their final warm up game against England on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium and fly out to New Zealand the following Tuesday.
Ireland Rugby World Cup Squad 2011
Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster), Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks), Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Jerry Flannery (Munster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Denis Leamy (Munster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), David Wallace (Munster)
Backs: Isaac Boss (Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers), Conor Murray (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster)