Further cuts to be applied to Irish RWC squad next week

In what seems like death by a thousand cuts, Dillane and Scannell are the first to go

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt shares a joke with his training squad during an open training session at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt shares a joke with his training squad during an open training session at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Further pruning of the Irish squad will take place next week following the first of four warm-up games against Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. In what seems like death by a thousand cuts, Ultan Dillane and Rory Scannell were the first to be released back to their provinces as the remaining 43-man squad assembled in Carton House.

Joe Schmidt had named a 44-man training squad at the end of May which was subsequently supplemented by the addition of Will Addison. It’s likely that Schmidt and the coaching staff will further re-assess their options in the wake of Saturday’s game against the Azzurri before the squad fly to Portugal on Wednesday August 14th for an eight-day warm-weather training camp at Quinta do Lago in the Algarve.

The squad will then transfer to London on Thursday, August 22nd in advance of their game against England in Twickenham two days later. A 31-man squad, pending any enforced changes, will be submitted to World Rugby on September 2nd at the behest of the game’s governing body, following the first of the games against Wales on Saturday August 31st, before being finalised and publicly announced on September 8th, a day after the final preparatory game at home to Wales.

Tougher decisions assuredly await then. For example, Dillane’s omission still leaves five locks in the squad, with the coaching staff set to choose four from five in James Ryan, Devin Toner, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne and the recently qualified Jean Kleyn.

For example, despite the loss of Sean O’Brien and Dan Leavy, as ever no combination will be trickier than picking five back-rowers from the seven in the squad.

The aforementioned Scannell was always the outside of the five centres named in the original training squad, and it could be that the remaining quartet will all travel to Japan, namely Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose and Chris Farrell, unless one is sacrificed to accommodate a sixth halfback or sixth outside back.

The squad have had five tough weeks of pre-season since coming together on June 16th, completing two training weeks at Carton House, a week at Connacht Rugby’s base in Galway, a week in UL at Munster’s training base and week at the IRFU’s new High Performance Centre in west Dublin along with two regeneration weeks in between.

Over 30,000 tickets have been sold for the first of Ireland’s two Guinness Summer Series against Italy on Saturday.

IRELAND Guinness Summer Series Squad v Italy

 

Forwards (23)

Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 9 caps

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 117 caps

Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 5 caps

Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 14 caps

Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 68 caps

Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 33 caps

Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 88 caps

Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 44 caps

Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 7 caps

Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 29 caps

Jean Kleyn (Munster) 0 caps

Jack McGrath (St Marys College/Leinster) 54 caps

Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Ulster) 27 caps

Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster) 12 caps

Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 57 caps

Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 14 caps

Rhys Ruddock (Lansdowne/Leinster) 21 caps

James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 17 caps

John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 18 caps

Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 14 caps

CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 31 caps

Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 64 caps

Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 17 caps

Backs (20)

Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) 3 caps

Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 17 caps

Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 2 caps

Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 18 caps

Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 3 caps

Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 12 caps

John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 8 caps

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 77 caps

Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 5 caps

Mike Haley (Munster) 0 caps

Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 37 caps

Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 17 caps

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 90 caps

Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 13 caps

Kieran Marmion (Galwegians/Connacht) 25 caps

Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 10 caps

Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 72 caps

Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 20 caps

Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 83 caps

Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 19 caps

Guinness Summer Series 2019 Fixtures

IRELAND v Italy

Aviva Stadium, Saturday 10th August, KO 2.00pm

(Live Coverage: RTE & Channel 4)

IRELAND v Wales

Aviva Stadium, Saturday 7th September, KO 2.00pm

(Live Coverage: RTE & Channel 4)

August 2019 International Fixtures

England v IRELAND

Twickenham Stadium, Saturday 24th August, KO 3.00pm

(Live Coverage: Sky)

Wales v IRELAND

Principality Stadium, Saturday 31st August, KO 2.30pm

(Live Coverage: Channel 4)

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