We Now Have A Fair Idea What Ireland’s 31-Man Rugby World Cup Squad Will Look Like
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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and his coaching ticket made three further cuts to their training squad today, as World Cup preparations begin to seriously ramp up.
The men in green fly out to Portugal today for a warm weather camp before they take on England in the second of four warm-up games next weekend, having got off to a winning start against Italy on Saturday.
Mike Haley, John Cooney and Finlay Bealham have all returned to their provinces with the squad now reduced to 40 players. But as we all know only 31 can travel to Japan, meaning further cuts have to be made.
Joey Carbery’s injury complicates things, with the Munster outhalf set to be out for between four and six weeks. This means he could miss the opener against Scotland, and even the game against Japan six days later.
With that expect Schmidt to bring Jack Carty as a third travelling outhalf, with a centre or scrumhalf set to lose out as a result. Does Schmidt bring three nines and three centres or two nines and four centres? We’re gonna go with the latter for now and follow the Eddie Jones recipe of flying a nine in if necessary.
Josh van der Flier
Kieran Marmion/Luke McGrath
Andrew Conway/Will Addison