Devin Toner Reacts To Being Left Out Of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Squad


Leinster lock Devin Toner has reacted to his shock omission from Ireland’s 31-man Rugby World Cup squad with a good luck message on Twitter for all the players heading to Japan.

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt named Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan and Iain Henderson as the four locks in his squad, with Toner surprisingly missing out on selection despite being a mainstay during the current cycle.

Schmidt says it was an “incredibly tough conversation” but ultimately went with Kleyn because he’s a “specialist tighthead second-row” and with Beirne because of his versatility. Ryan and Henderson meanwhile were obvious choices.

“I’ve coached Dev for 10 years,” Schmidt told Irish Rugby TV

“He’s not just a lineout champion for us, he’s such a good player. He’s an absolutely quality person. It was an incredibly tough conversation yesterday.

“Jean Kleyn, we probably don’t have a specialist tighthead second row as such. I said about the balance that we’re looking for across the squad of 31 – Jean Kleyn fitted that.

“Tadhg Beirne gives you the versatility of both a second-row [and a back-row]. He’s teamed up well with Jean Kleyn in Munster this year. He also gives you that threat over the ball like a six or seven would.

“You’ve got James Ryan who made an immediate impression coming back into the side and Iain Henderson who’s promised so much and performed at times incredibly well for us.

“It was a very tight decision around Dev.”

Toner admits he is “gutted not to be on the plane” but has wished all the lads involved the very best of luck. No doubt he’s one of the first names on the standby list should a lock get injured.

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