During a pre-World Cup victory against Samoa last Saturday evening, Irish prop Cian Healy was escorted off the pitch due to a leg injury that will now prevent him from competing in the upcoming World Cup. Meanwhile, center Stuart McCloskey has secured his place on Ireland’s 33-man roster, as confirmed by head coach Andy Farrell.
35-year-old Healy sustained his injury in the final warm-up game against Samoa, and Farrell estimates his recovery will span approximately 10 weeks. With Healy out, Munster’s Jeremy Loughman has been called up to join the squad.
Among the 15 backs named in the roster, coach Farrell found space to include Ulster center Stuart McCloskey. Although McCloskey has played in eight of Ireland’s last dozen games, there were rumors his spot might be jeopardized due to the midfield capabilities of Keith Earls and Jimmy O’Brien.
However, Farrell has chosen to carry four specialized centers, electing McCloskey along with Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, and Bundee Aki.
Several players from the initial 38-man pool didn’t make the final cut. These include Ulster teammates Tom Stewart and Jacob Stockdale, Leinster back Ciaran Frawley, and Connacht back row Cian Prendergast.
Despite their impressive run of 13 consecutive Test wins and clinching this year’s Six Nations Grand Slam, Ireland is cautious. They enter the France tournament as the highest-ranked international team but are well aware of their history, having never advanced past the quarter-finals in all nine previous World Cup appearances.
Ireland’s World Cup Squad Lineup
Forwards: Rob Herring (Ulster), Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Jeremy Loughman (Munster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Tom O’Toole (Ulster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), Ryan Baird (Leinster), Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Joe McCarthy (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster).
Backs: Craig Casey (Munster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Bundee Aki (Connacht), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Mack Hansen (Connacht), Hugo Keenan (Leinster), James Lowe (Leinster), Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster).
Farrell mentioned that Healy, a veteran with 125 caps, was “crushed” by the unfortunate turn of events. “Cian has enough years under his belt to have faced situations like this before,” Farrell said. “Still, the news hits hard for him and for us as a team.”
Team captain Johnny Sexton, who will be back in action for Ireland’s opener against Romania on September 9 after serving a three-match suspension, said he was deeply “disappointed” for Healy. “The dedication he’s shown in training and preparation was a testament to how much this tournament meant to him,” said the 38-year-old Sexton, who plans to retire post-World Cup.
Regarding his own ban, Sexton admitted to a lapse in judgment during a heated moment after Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup final loss to La Rochelle. “It was a split-second emotional response, and I regret it immediately. I’ve apologized, and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
On the delicate task of informing those who didn’t make the roster, Farrell said, “It’s gut-wrenching to dash someone’s dreams, but it’s part of the job. We constantly provide feedback so that any bad news isn’t a total shock. Players aren’t clueless; they generally have a sense of where they stand.”
World Cup Schedule for Ireland
- Ireland vs Romania: Bordeaux, Saturday, September 9, 12:00 BST
- Ireland vs Tonga: Nantes, Saturday, September 16, 20:00 BST
- Ireland vs South Africa: Paris, Saturday, September 23, 20:00 BST
- Ireland vs Scotland: Nantes, Paris, Saturday, October 7, 20:00 BST.
The stakes are high and the turf is set. Ireland is hopeful, but let’s not jinx it, shall we? After all, the only predictable thing about sports is its unpredictability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ireland Rugby World Cup Squad
Who is unable to participate in the World Cup due to injury?
Cian Healy, a veteran prop for the Irish rugby team, is sidelined and will miss the World Cup due to a leg injury sustained in a warm-up game against Samoa.
Who has been called up as a replacement for Cian Healy?
Munster prop Jeremy Loughman has been included in the squad as a replacement for the injured Cian Healy.
Which player’s inclusion in the squad was uncertain due to competition?
Stuart McCloskey’s place on the team was uncertain due to the midfield capabilities of Keith Earls and Jimmy O’Brien. However, he has secured a spot in the 33-man roster.
How many players are in Ireland’s World Cup squad?
Ireland’s World Cup squad consists of 33 players.
Who are the four specialist centers included in the squad?
The four specialist centers in the squad are Stuart McCloskey, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, and Bundee Aki.
Who is the captain of the Ireland team for the World Cup?
Johnny Sexton is the captain of the Ireland rugby team for the World Cup. He will be available for Ireland’s opening match against Romania on September 9 after serving a three-match suspension.
What is Ireland’s first match in the World Cup?
Ireland’s first match in the World Cup is against Romania, scheduled for Saturday, September 9, at 12:00 BST in Bordeaux.
What is significant about Ireland’s performance ahead of the World Cup?
Ireland enters the World Cup on the back of 13 consecutive Test wins, including achieving the Six Nations Grand Slam. However, they have never advanced beyond the quarter-finals in any previous World Cup.
How did Johnny Sexton react to his three-match suspension?
Johnny Sexton described his conduct, which led to the suspension, as “a mistake in the heat of the moment.” He expressed regret and has taken full responsibility for his actions.
What did Coach Andy Farrell say about players who didn’t make the cut?
Farrell mentioned that delivering the news to players who didn’t make the cut is “gut-wrenching” but essential. He believes in providing continuous feedback so that any bad news doesn’t come as a total shock.
More about Ireland Rugby World Cup Squad
- Official Ireland Rugby Team Announcement for World Cup 2023
- Six Nations 2023 Recap: Ireland’s Grand Slam Win
- Ireland’s Past World Cup Performances
- Who is Cian Healy? A Profile
- Interview with Ireland Rugby Captain Johnny Sexton
- Analysis: Stuart McCloskey’s Journey to the World Cup Squad
- The History of Ireland in Rugby World Cups
- A Look at Ireland’s 13-Game Winning Streak
- Rugby World Cup 2023: Match Schedules and Times
- Injury Updates in Rugby World Cup 2023