There are reports this evening from the usually-reliable sports desk at Independent House of Joe Schmidt's World Cup squad. Ruaidhri O'Connor in the Indo is reporting that Schmidt intends to bring capped-once Tadhg Furlong ahead of Michael Bent and Marty Moore, making him this year's World Cup Bolter.
It's an unusual squad if it's true. For one, it means that Schmidt is only bringing two looseheads - McGrath and Healy - which either means Healy has been to Lourdes or that he plans to use Furlong as cover on both sides. Given Joe's commitment to Mike Ross, seems very unusual that Schmidt would bring three tightheads when Ireland are so thin at #1.
The mooted squad will also not include Andrew Trimble or Felix Jones are out of the squad and posits that Schmidt will use Ian Madigan as cover at scrum half. Felix Jones was a staple of Schmidt's Six Nations run this year on the bench and we'd be surprised to see him left out as well.
Here's the 31-man squad that's leaking tonight.
Forwards: Rory Best, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Paul O’Connell (capt), Jamie Heaslip, Chris Henry, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Nathan White.
Backs: Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Ian Madigan, Conor Murray, Jared Payne, Eoin Reddan, Johnny Sexton, Simon Zebo.