Joe Schmidt On When He’ll Be Naming His 31-Man Rugby World Cup Squad
Road to Japan.
Ireland have just four games to right their wrongs from this year’s Six Nations before they jet out to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Joe Schmidt’s men will take on Italy at the Aviva on August 10, before flying over to the UK to take on England in Twickenham and Wales at the Principality. They will then return home to take on Wales once again – this time at the Aviva.
At the beginning of their warm-up schedule Schmidt and his coaching ticket will name a 45-man squad, before whittling it down to 38 during the series. He will then name his final 31-man squad just before their final game against Wales.
Schmidt outlined the timeline during a Leinster Rugby Supporters Q&A, as he was made an honorary member of the Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC).
“On insight into World Cup preparations, Joe revealed that Ireland’s logistics team are already in Japan, laying the groundwork and planning for every eventuality,” a statement on the Leinster website said.
“He also explained squad selection works to a timeline set by World Rugby. Forty-five players will be selected at the start of the warm-up games. That then reduces to thirty-eight players during the warm-up series before finally settling on thirty-one players before the last warm-up game against Wales.”
Ireland’s warm-up fixtures:
IRELAND v Italy
Saturday 10th August, 2019
England v IRELAND
Saturday 24th August, 2019
Wales v IRELAND
Saturday 31st August, 2019
IRELAND v Wales
Saturday 7th September, 2019
Ireland’s Rugby World Cup fixtures (GMT):
IRELAND vs Scotland, 8:45am September 22nd
International Stadium, Yokohama
IRELAND vs Japan, 8:15am September 28th
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
IRELAND vs Russia, 11:15am October 3rd
Kobe Misaki Stadium