Friday 30 September 2016

Ins and outs but lads will do us proud

Published 04/09/2015 | 02:30

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during squad training
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during squad training

After all the speculation, Irish head coach Joe Schmidt finally announced his 31-man squad for the World Cup last Monday. It's certainly a strong one but there are a number of surprises.

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You would have to feel sorry for the likes of Dave Kilcoyne, Felix Jones, Andrew Trimble and Isaac Boss - I would have thought each of those players would have added something.

We don't know the full extent of Trimble's fitness woes and maybe that didn't work in his favour. Boss was also a close call but as we now know Ian Madigan has been trained up at scrum-half since last season and Schmidt obviously likes what he sees.

From a Munster perspective, Kilcoyne and Jones must be distraught at not being picked after a few 50/50 calls that didn't go their way.

Schmidt went for three tightheads - with Jack McGrath able to cover that side of the scrum, it should have should have left room for someone like Kilcoyne to come in there.

In the backline, it was disappointing for Felix to lose out but with Simon Zebo performing so well in the warm-up internationals, that probably ruled him out of the equation.

Irish Independent

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