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Confirmed: Irish Rugby World Cup Squad Is Here And There's Some Big Talking Points

Confirmed: Irish Rugby World Cup Squad Is Here And There's Some Big Talking Points
By Gary Reilly Updated

Irish Rugby have just taken everyone by surprise and announced the squad for the Rugby World Cup significantly earlier than they had said they would.

A press conference had been called for lunchtime today and that is when the squad was expected to be announced. However, after the 31 man squad was leaked yesterday, Irish Rugby caught everyone on the hop and decided to release the confirmed squad list at 8.30 this morning.

Nevertheless, the squad is now here and it is looking as expected with a couple of headline additions and omissions. Tadhg Furlong is in, as is injury worry Cian Healy. Andrew Trimble meanwhile is perhaps the most unlucky member of the extended squad to miss out.

The likes of Michael Bent, Marty Moore, Isaac Boss, Felix Jones, Fergus McFadden and Gordon D'Arcy are the other unlucky players to miss out on the final selection.

Unsurprisingly, Joe Schmidt confirmed the selection process had been a difficult one.

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.

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.

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.

Here's the confirmed squad:

Forwards (17)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 84
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 45
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 1
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 51
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) 74
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 19
Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster) 18
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 19

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Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 12
Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster) 36
Paul O'Connell (Young Munster) 103 captain
Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 31
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster) 51
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster) 30
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster) 9
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 26
Nathan White (Connacht) 2

Backs (14)
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 62
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 9
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 41
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster) 30
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht) 11
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) 12
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 9
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 63
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster) 20
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 36
Jared Payne (Ulster) 7
Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster) 63
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster) 52
Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) 17

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