Ireland Set To Go For Interesting Forward/Backs Split At The World Cup

31-man squad.

Assistant coach Richie Murphy has confirmed Ireland are “definitely leaning towards” bringing five halfbacks to the World Cup in a 17/14, forward/backs split – as predicted by us last week.

With Joey Carbery a fitness concern, it looks like Ireland will bring three outhalves and two nines in their squad, along with four centres and five back-three players.

But who will claim that third outhalf spot – Ross Byrne or Jack Carty. Well it seems both will be given their chance in the coming weeks to stake their claim for the spot in the squad.

“It’s [Carbery’s injury] definitely made us think and work out what the best route forward is for us,” says assistant coach Richie Murphy.

“We can’t go into a World Cup with a situation where we’ve only got Johnny as maybe our main 10 and other guys who haven’t had exposure at that level. We can’t do that.

“These three games are an opportunity to get guys some game time, and an opportunity to sort of stake a claim for a spot in that squad.

In terms of the rest of the make-up of the squad, the forwards would likely be divided into five props, three hookers, four second-rows and five back-rowers.

Ireland officially name their 31-man World Cup squad on September 8 – but up first it’s England this weekend as players continue to battle it out for a spot on that plane to Japan.

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