Ireland's expected World Cup squad ahead of Joe Schmidt's Monday submission
Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw will make the 31-man squad despite having missed out on the first three warm-up games.
On Monday, the IRFU will submit its' 31-man World Cup squad to World Rugby. The plan is for the Ireland squad to be officially announced until the following Sunday, September 8.
Wales, who were defeated 22-17 by Ireland today, will announce their 31-man squad on Sunday with their players being offered three options of which to discover their fate:
- Call by the coach
- Text message
- Find out live
Joe Schmidt and his coaching staff will sit down in Dublin on Sunday to thrash out the final Irish 31-man squad and there are some big calls to make.
Here are a few areas made clearer following the first three warm-up games:
- Andrew Porter and John Ryan are both travelling due to their front row versatility. Jack McGrath is set to miss out.
- Tadhg Beirne offers more versatility than Jean Kleyn and will go as second- and back-row cover.
- Only two scrum-halves are likely to travel, meaning Luke McGrath will miss out.
- Andrew Conway has taken his chances well and now a big call remains over the last backline spot.
The half backs are the major unknown heading into the tournament. Conor Murray played only 30 minutes of rugby against England having suffered a jarring blow to the head. He says he will be fit to face Wales next weekend but he has questions to answer regarding fitness and form. Ireland are also going into the World Cup with only one fit outhalf - Jack Carty - as Joey Carbery is coming back from an ankle injury and Johnny Sexton has yet to play in 2019/20.
Players all but certain to miss out on selection, from the current squad, are Rob Herring, Tommy O'Donnell, Dave Kearney and the unlucky Rhys Ruddock. After that, it gets tricky.
The form of Andrew Conway and Will Addison's assured return to Test rugby, and his ability to cover centre, wing and fullback, has suddenly put Jordan Larmour in danger of missing out. Given the fact that Robbie Henshaw is likely to make the squad without playing in any of the first three warm-ups could see Chris Farrell going ahead of Larmour.
PREDICTED IRELAND SQUAD
Cian Healy, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Furlong, Andrew Porter, John Ryan
Rory Best, Niall Scannell, Sean Cronin
James Ryan, Devin Toner, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne
BACK ROW (5)
Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Jack Conan
Conor Murray, Kieran Marmion
Johnny Sexton, Jack Carty, Joey Carbery
Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Will Addison
BACK THREE (5)
Keith Earls, Jacob Stockdale, Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway
*NOTE: Ireland can make squad changes if any players are injured in the final warm-up game on Saturday, September 7.
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