Joe Schmidt Now Has An Absolutely Massive Call To Make With His World Cup Squad

Sidelined.

Joe Schmidt will name his 31-man World Cup squad in the coming weeks, but after just one warm-up game against Italy – the Ireland boss already finds himself in a very difficult situation.

Already without the likes of Sean O’Brien and Dan Leavy, Irish fans will be praying we don’t see a repeat of 2015, with Ireland without a huge number of their first-choice stars by the time they got to their quarter final clash with Argentina.

And now with Joey Carbery picking up a worrying ankle injury in the win over Italy on Saturday – Schmidt has an absolutely massive call to make before he names his 31 men for Japan.

The IRFU are set to release a squad update tomorrow to reveal the full extent of the problem, with some reports suggesting Carbery will be out for four weeks, and others saying six weeks.

If it’s the latter Carbery it’s unlikely Carbery would be fit for the opener against Scotland, and the chances of him being match fit for the Japan game six days later would be slim. So what does Schmidt do?

Does he take a chance and give Carbery one of his coveted 31-man spots or does he leave him out? There’s no doubt Carbery has enough credit in the bank to slot straight in without any game time – but will he fit to play? We all saw what happened with his hamstring problem with Munster, with his return delayed multiple times.

Will Schmidt select Carbery no matter what, or does he go with the safe, fit options in Jack Carty and/or Ross Byrne? – especially when his first choice outhalf Johnny Sexton doesn’t exactly have the best injury record himself…