Brian O’Driscoll and 29 of his compatriots have been named in the Ireland squad to contest the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. For half of the squad it will be their first ever World Cup.
Halfback Isaac Boss will return home to New Zealand as part of the Ireland team, but other halfbacks Tomas O’Leary and veteran Peter Stringer have missed out. Other notable omissions include winger Luke Fitzgerald and the injured fullback Felix Jones.
Ireland are in the relatively easy Pool D, along with Australia, Italy, the United States and Russia. However, Ireland will need to much better form than they have showed in their three loosing warm up matches if they are to progress to the quarters. They open their campaign against United States in New Plymouth on September 11.
Ireland Rugby World Cup 2011 Squad:
Forwards: Rory Best, Tony Buckley, Tom Court, Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen, Stephen Ferris, Jerry Flannery, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Denis Leamy, Sean O’Brien, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, David Wallace
Backs: Isaac Boss, Tommy Bowe, Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls, Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Geordan Murphy, Conor Murray, Brian O’Driscoll (captain), Ronan O’Gara, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace