The 30 - strong squad is made up of 17 forwards and 13 backs with coach Eddie O'Sullivan happy under the circumstances with the strength of the squad, "In spite of some untimelyinjuries to Geordan Murphy and Rob Henderson, I am happy that we have aparticularly strong squad with a good mix of experience and skill. This is borne out by the fact that difficult decisions had to be made in the selections of many positions.
"We have now taken the first formal step in the road to Rugby WorldCup 2003 by naming the squad and we know we do so with the full support of the Irish public."
The Ireland Rugby World Cup 2003 Squad. Forwards (17) Simon Best (Ulster/Belfast Harlequins)Shane Byrne (Leinster/Blackrock College)Reggie Corrigan (Leinster/ Greystones)Victor Costello (Leinster/St. Mary's College)Simon Easterby (Llanelli)Anthony Foley(Munster/Shannon)Keith Gleeson (Leinster/St.Mary's College)John Hayes (Munster/Shannon)Marcus Horan (Munster/Shannon)Gary Longwell (Ulster/Ballymena)Eric Miller (Leinster/Terenure College)Donncha O'Callaghan(Munster/Cork Constitution)Paul O'Connell (Munster/Young Munster)
Backs (13) Jonathon Bell (Ulster/Dungannon)Girvan Dempsey (Leinster/Terenure College)Neil Doak (Ulster/Belfast Harlequins)Guy Easterby (Rotherham)Denis Hickie (Leinster/St. Mary's College)Anthony Horgan (Munster/Cork Constitution)Shane Horgan (Leinster/Lansdowne)David Humphreys (Ulster/Dungannon)John Kelly (Munster/Cork Constitution)Kevin Maggs (Bath)Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster/Blackrock College)Ronan O'Gara (Munster/Cork Constitution)Peter Stringer (Munster/Shannon).
Players not considered because of injury include Geordan Murphy (Leicester), who suffered a compund fracture of his left tibia in the game against Scotlan and RobHenderson who ruptured a bicep in Munster's victory over Leinster in Donnybrook on Friday night.