More Ireland Players Set To Be Cut From Squad Ahead Of Training Camp In Portugal

Trimming down.

Ireland look set to make further cuts to their squad as they get set for a warm weather training camp in Portugal next week as preparations for the Rugby World Cup in Japan continue.

Two players – Rory Scannell and Ultan Dillane were axed last week ahead of the Italy game, leaving head coach Joe Schmidt and his coaching ticket with 43 players.

But with World Rugby regulations only allowing 31-men in a World Cup squad (something Schmidt doesn’t approve of), Ireland look set to continue to trim down their squad before naming their squad for Japan next month.

Speaking after the win over Italy, Schmidt says there’s a chance the full 43 could travel to Portugal, but says Ireland will “probably” travel with just 40, meaning three more players look set to lose out.

“We’ll see how the players came through today but we I think we’ll probably travel with about 40 but it could be 43, just depending on (the fact that) we want to have good training numbers.” Schmidt said

One of the problems, I think, is that as you branch off with a smaller squad, just keeping those guys up to speed with what we’re trying to develop.

“It becomes a little bit of a difficulty for us, especially if we pick up a injury. We’re playing England, Wales and Wales. Physically big teams and physically bigger than we are, therefore there tends to be a risk of attrition and we don’t want those other players to get too far away from us because we want them up to speed if they do miss out on that 31 in the end.”