Three Cork rugby stars included in the World Cup squad for Japan

Three Cork rugby stars included in the World Cup squad for Japan
Niall Scannell takes a lineout. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

IRISH rugby coach Joe Schmidt included three Cork forwards in his 31-man panel for the Rugby World Cup in Japan with Peter O’Mahony, Niall Scannell and John Ryan all getting the nod.

One Munster player who will be happy with his inclusion is winger/full-back Andrew Conway whose consistent displays in the Summer series saw him claim a place ahead of Ulster’s Will Addison.

Chris Farrell, despite a poor enough display at the weekend, will want to prove his worth as Ireland take on Wales at the Aviva in the return match on Saturday.

CJ Stander is another who could be considered in the ‘lucky’ bracket with his performances below what we have come to expect from the Munster number eight in recent games.

Having made the final cut though, and following criticism of his display against England, expect a big statement from the Munsterman at the weekend.

Dave Kilcoyne’s five star display last weekend saw him leap frog Jack McGrath for the loosehead place while as expected Andrew Porter is there as cover for loosehead and tighthead.

Tadhg Beirne will also be delighted to have pipped the opposition and his flexibility to play back row or second row certainly helped his chances.

Devin Toner though was the big casualty.

The IRFU submitted their squad to World Cup on Monday morning and had initially planned to publicly release the 31 names next Sunday, before a sudden change of plans.

Regardless, there was no room for Toner who has featured in 50 of Schmidt’s 67 squads at international level.

The Irish management will come in for huge criticism if their decision to bring recently Ireland qualified Munster lock Jean Kleyn instead of Toner backfires.

Despite not having played yet this season, Johnny Sexton, Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw have all been deemed fit enough to be included in the final squad and hopes are obviously high enough on the fitness of Joey Carbery (ankle) and Cian Healy (ankle) to be included in the squad also.

Luke McGrath has won the battle to travel to Japan as Conor Murray's understudy with Kieran Marmion the one to lose out in another surprise by Ireland.

Marmion’s provincial half-back partner Jack Carty, after a man of the match display last weekend, has been named in the squad.

BACKS: R Kearney, J Larmour, K Earls, J Stockdale, A Conway, R Henshaw, C Farrell, B Aki, G Ringrose, J Sexton, J Carbery, J Carty, C Murray, L McGrath.

FORWARDS: C Healy, D Kilcoyne, R Best (capt), N Scannell, S Cronin, T Furlong, A Porter, John Ryan, James Ryan, I Henderson, J Kleyn, T Beirne, CJ Stander, P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, J Conan, R Ruddock.

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