Ireland Captain Calls For Officials To Make Big Rugby World Cup Change
Ireland captain Rory Best has called on World Rugby to expand squads for future World Cups from 31 players to 35 as he feels it puts severe limitations on nations at the tournament.
Best was named as part of Joe Schmidt’s 44-man Rugby World Cup training squad last week, but the Ireland boss will have to reduce that number to 31 come September 8th.
A number of coaches have already expressed their concerns, especially given the modern day physicality and intensity of Test match rugby and Best feels it’s time for a change.
“We have a six-day turnaround between Scotland and Japan and then five between Japan to Russia,” Best told The42
“You get an injury that maybe takes you out for two games but not the entire tournament. If you get a couple of those you have to make fairly harsh decisions when it is actually not right as the player could be back for Samoa [Ireland’s fourth pool game].
“I’d be more inclined to increase the squad size to 35 players. The problem with 31 is by the time you name three hookers and three nines there are positions you are really short on.
“There is a back row/second row type player who will have to cover both but at a World Cup you shouldn’t have to have makeshift people in there. It should be: this is our best squad. 35 players would give you that luxury.”
What do you think? Is it time Rugby World Cup squads were expanded?