18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Reporting in The Star, Derek Foley said, "There was some disbelief when Wallace was not the last name read out in the alphabetical list. A big display against Scotland, the fact that there are six back-row forwards in the squad and the 17/13 split were seen as clear indication that the Munster Lion would squeeze in."
Brendan Fanning devoted some of his Sunday to providing a report for The Guardian in which he said, "When David Wallace crashed over to complete Ireland's four tries to one hammering of Scotland you could forgive him for believing it cemented his place in the World Cup squad.. His omission from the six back-rowers chosen was the shock in the squad that was deprived the creative talents of Geordan Murphy."
In The Irish Independent Tony Ward started with, "Lions flanker David Wallace is the most conspicuous by far of a number of high profile absentees from the Irish squad for next month's World Cup." The former Ireland and Lions out-half went on to say, " I firmly believe the Munster flanker to be one of two left behind who could have made a difference off the bench, if not a first up selection down under."
Ward's colleague Kieran Rooney continued in a similar vein, "David Wallace and Leo Cullen must rank as the two most disappointed players following the announcement of the 30 strong Irish rugby squad Add the fact that Eddie O'Sullivan has decided to go with 17 forwards with six back-row players and many will wonder how can Ireland afford to leave out someone of Wallace's qualities."
And the surprise theme was continued in Irish Times with chief rugby reporter, Gerry Thornley who felt, "it made sense to load up with forwards, given the attritional rate may be higher there." But he then went on to say, "it made the decision not to pick Wallace, especially on the hard grounds of Australia, more surprising. It's highly unlikely," continued Thornley, "that any other Irish forward has the pace and ball-carrying strength Wallace demonstrated in his initial break from half-way through the Welsh line in the build up to his try three weeks ago. It's even questionable whether any Irish forward had the pace and attacking radar to finish off the counter-attacking work of Denis Hickie and Brian O'Driscoll last Saturday.
The view from down south was given by Charlie Mulqueen in the Irish Examiner, Personally I am astonished that Wallace has been passed over for Easterby especially, and Miller. The hard grounds in Australia would have been tailor-made for a ball-carrying player of his style and quality.
"With the possible exception of Victor Costello I don't believe we have any forward capable of breaking tackles with the same facility and whether he started a game or was introduced as an impact player with 20 minutes or so to go I believe Wallace would have been an invaluable member of the side."