Three surprise calls in Ireland's 44-man World Cup training squad 2 months ago

Three surprise calls in Ireland's 44-man World Cup training squad

We saw one of these coming, but not the other one.

Joe Schmidt has named a 44-man extended training squad with an eye to the World Cup in Japan.

Two uncapped players - Jean Kleyn (pictured below) and Mike Haley of Munster - are both named in the squad but there is no room for Leinster scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park, even though he will become Irish-qualified in August.

Joe Schmidt(©INPHO/Tommy Dickson)

The cut has not been kind to Connacht, with Caolin Blade, Jack Carty, Quinn Roux and Tom Farrell all missing out. There is no place for Ulster's Player of the Season Stuart McCloskey while Adam Byrne (Leinster) and Sam Arnold (Munster) also miss out.

The other surprise call - aside from the uncapped players - must be Leinster winger Dave Kearney, who has not played for Ireland since November 2017. Schmidt, commented:

"The provinces have done a great job throughout the season with all four of them being involved in two sets of playoffs.

"There were some very close calls in selection and it’s always a challenging process because the coaching group are very conscious of how hard the players work. It’s ideal that they get a good opportunity to relax for a few weeks before getting stuck into pre-season training and  busy ‘Summer Series’ in the lead up to the World Cup.

"Some players have missed out through injury and there are one or two guys that may be added into the squad at a later stage."

Sean O'Brien and Dan Leavy have already been ruled out of the tournament while there will be another 8-10 players on stand-by should they be required over July, August and September.

IRELAND Training Squad

Forwards (24)

Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 9 caps
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 117 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 5 caps
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 14 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 68 caps
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 14 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 33 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 88 caps
Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 44 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 7 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 29 caps
Jean Kleyn (Munster)*
Jack McGrath (St Marys College/Leinster) 54 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Ulster) 27 caps
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster) 12 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 57 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 14 caps
Rhys Ruddock (Lansdowne/Leinster) 21 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 17 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 18 caps
Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 14 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 31 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 64 caps
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 17 caps
Backs (20)
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 17 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 2 caps
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 18 caps
Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 12 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 8 caps
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 77 caps
Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 5 caps
Mike Haley (Munster)*
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 37 caps
Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 17 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 90 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 13 caps
Kieran Marmion (Galwegians/Connacht) 25 caps
Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 10 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 72 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 20 caps
Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 3 caps
Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 83 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 19 caps

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