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.
Forwards: Simon Best (Ulster), Shane Byrne (Leinster), Reggie Corrigan (Leinster), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), Anthony Foley (Munster), John Hayes (Munster), Marcus Horan (Munster), Eric Miller (Leinster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), Paul O'Connell (Munster), Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster), Alan Quinlan (Munster), Frank Sheahan (Munster), David Wallace (Munster). Backs: Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Girvan Dempsey (Leinster), Gavin Duffy (Harlequins), Guy Easterby (Rotherham), Shane Horgan (Leinster), Tyrone Howe (Ulster), David Humphreys (Ulster), Kevin Maggs (Bath), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster). Standby: Emmett Byrne (Leinster), Victor Costello (Leinster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Neil Doak (Ulster), Shaun Payne (Munster), Bernard Jackman (Connacht), John Kelly (Munster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster), Roger Wilson (Ulster).
Ireland Management Party. Brian O'Brien - Manager: As well as being Manager of the 2004 Triple Crown winning team, Brian also had a connection with the Triple Crown victory in 1982, as a team selector.
A most popular personality, who assumed the critical role as Irish National manager in the summer of 2000, he is steeped in a rugby tradition. A member of Shannon RFC since 1955, Brian has been involved with the Limerick club ever since, as Player, Coach and Manager and as Club President from 1984 to '86 inclusive.
Brian is a former Irish international centre who was capped against France, England and Scotland in 1967/'68. He has served as a Selector for Munster, Ireland and the Lions and was Manager of the Ireland Under-21 sides from 1992 to 94. Brian was also Manager of European Cup finalists Munster when they reached the Heineken Cup Final in 2000.
Eddie O'Sullivan - Coach: Ireland's record-breaking coach has dramatically changed the fortunes of the team since being appointed in November 2001, culminating this year in a first Triple Crown victory since 1985.
Among the many sides he had previously gained success with were the Connacht Provincial team, Blackrock College, Buccaneers and the Ireland Under-21 team. In addition, he was formerly National Technical Director of USA rugby, working with the US Eagles during the 1999 World Cup.
Since taking charge of Ireland he has been widely acknowledged as one of the game's most professionally thorough and innovative Coaches yielding the record dividends of 10 successive victories before Six-Nations Grand Slam defeat by England in March last year. He played his rugby for both Garryowen and Munster.
Niall O'Donovan - Forwards Coach: Joined the Ireland management team in December 2001 as forwards coach; his contract has now been extended to include the next World Cup in 2007. O'Donovan is a former noted Shannon and Munster No.8 forward.
As Coach to Shannon he led them to AIB All-Ireland League title wins in 1994, '95 and '96 and to a further title as the club's Director of Rugby in 1997. A widely acknowledged line-out and forwards expert, he was assistant coach to the Munster team for five years when they twice reached the Heineken Cup final. Niall was also assistant coach to the Ireland A' team for three years, during which time they also won the Triple Crown.
Mike Ford - Defence Coach: Invited by Eddie O'Sullivan to join the back-up team in January 2002, Mike Ford is one of rugby's most respected coaches, whose contract with the Ireland National side has been extended to include World Cup 2007.
He is a former Great Britain international rugby league scrum-half, who played for Wigan and Castleford and also coached Oldham. His glittering playing career spanned 20 years and embraced 530 first grade games, in which he scored 157 tries.
Mark Tainton - Kicking Coach: Record breaking Bristol out-half who played over 300 first team matches, scoring in excess of 3,000 points. Capped at Under 23 and A' level for England, was appointed kicking and skills coach to England on their 1997 tour to Argentina. Has also been coach to Richmond and Oxford University. Has coached kicking and skills with Munster and with the Ireland Senior players since Autumn 2002 and has been contracted to remain in this role to World Cup 2007.
Also accompanying the squad is IRFU President John Quilligan who will shortly hand over the role to Barry Keogh.
John Quilligan, President - IRFU: Aged forty-six, of Garryowen rugby club, Limerick, he enriched an outstanding family contribution to Irish rugby when he assumed the office as President of the Irish Rugby Football Union in season 2003/2004.
As one of the youngest ever to hold the office - certainly the youngest in the modern era - he follows in the footsteps of his father Kevin, who was President in 1978/'79.
John and Kevin Quilligan are the fourth father and son combination to hold the highest office in Irish rugby, following Sir. ST (1935/'36) and JWS (1969/'70) Irwin; Jack Coffey Snr (1924/'25) and Jack Jnr (1977/'78) and Noel F (1960/'61) and Noel A (1998/'99) Murphy.
John Quilligan represents the third generation of his family to be involved in rugby at Club, Provincial and National level. His grandfather, Jack Quilligan, was an Irish Selector in the 1930s and President of the Munster Branch in 1940. His father, Kevin Quilligan, was also President of the Munster Branch in 1974.
A life long member of Garryowen FC, John joined the club's committee as Fixtures Secretary in 1987. He became the Garryowen club delegate to the Munster Branch in 1991 and served on the Branch until his election as Junior Vice President of the IRFU in 2001.
A member of the IRFU Committee since 1994, he served on a large number of sub committees, which included Rugby, Finance and Marketing. He was the inaugural Chairman of the Clubs of Ireland Sub Committee, which set out the parameters for club funding against defined developmental goals.
John is employed by Bank of Ireland Finance as Territory Manager in the Mid-West. He is also a member of Limerick Golf Club.