The Ireland coaching team have revealed the 31-man squad that will travel to Japan on Wednesday, September 11 to compete at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The selected squad is captained by Ulster hooker Rory Best who will play at a fourth Rugby World Cup having been involved in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 tournaments.
Six of the squad named featured at the previous two Rugby World Cups (2011 & 2015) – Sean Cronin, Keith Earls, Cian Healy, Rob Kearney, Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, while a further five played in the 2015 tournament – Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Robbie Henshaw, Peter O’Mahony and Rhys Ruddock.
The remaining 19 players will be making their Rugby World Cup debuts – Bundee Aki, Tadhg Beirne, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Jack Conan, Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Dave Kilcoyne, Jean Kleyn, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Garry Ringrose, Jacob Stockdale and Josh van der Flier.
Ireland are in Pool A and will play Scotland, World Cup hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa. Ireland’s opening fixture is against Scotland at the Yokohama Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday, September 22.
Six days later Ireland will take on Japan in Shizuoka before playing Russia in Kobe the following Thursday. Ireland’s final pool game is against Samoa on Saturday, October 12 in Fukuoka.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt commented:
It was a difficult thing right from the start to have the 45 that we had. We went down to 40 players and to go from 40 down to 31 was really difficult, but we had a process whereby we looked back through every training, looked through the games.
“There were some guys who obviously had more experience and probably had more credit in the bank and were more established and there were other guys who were trying to force their way into group, and trying to get a balance of current form versus previous performance, it’s always a very, very difficult conundrum to try to solve.
“It was one of those typical selection meetings where maybe 20-25 of the players are listed straight away and it’s those ones where you’re are trying to get balance where it’s very difficult to choose between two players and two players offer slightly different things.
“You’re trying then to narrow down and trying to get the best balance across the squad of the entire 31 because that’s part of what you need to do because you’ve got to make sure you have cover that’s immediate. Even though you can replace players, there is obviously a big time delay in that.”
IRELAND 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP SQUAD:
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 19
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 19
Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 6
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 15
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 77
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 5
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 37
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 91
Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 15
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 13
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 73
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 23
Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 83
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 20
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt) 119
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 8
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 15
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 69
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 35
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 90
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 30
Iain Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster) 47
Jean Kleyn (Munster) 2
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 59
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 17
Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 22
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 18
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 20
Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 16
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 32
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 18
IRELAND 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP – POOL A FIXTURES:
IRELAND v Scotland
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Sunday, September 22, kick-off 4.45pm local time/8.45am Irish time
Japan v IRELAND
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka, Saturday, September 28, kick-off 4.15pm local time/8.15am Irish time
IRELAND v Russia
Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe, Thursday, October 3, kick-off 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time
IRELAND v Samoa
Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka, Saturday, October 12, kick-off 7.45pm local time/11.45am Irish time
RWC 2019 Broadcast Information:
Republic of Ireland: eir Sport, RTE Television, RTE Radio
Northern Ireland: ITV, BBC Radio