Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad: Andrew Trimble misses cut as Tadhg Furlong gets shock call
Joe Schmidt has left 2014 Player of the Year Andrew Trimble out of his World Cup squad, opting to take his Ulster colleague Darren Cave instead.
The New Zealander has confirmed his 31-man squad early this morning.
The squad is made up of 17 Forwards and 14 Backs and will be captained by Paul O'Connell. The squad has a total of 1043 caps across the 31 players.
Some 17 players will make their tournament debuts at Rugby World Cup 2015. (D Cave, L Fitzgerald, T Furlong, I Henderson, C Henry, R Henshaw, P Jackson, D Kearney, I Madigan, J McGrath, J Murphy, P O'Mahony, J Payne, R Strauss, D Toner, N White & S Zebo).
Ireland Head Coach, Joe Schmidt, confirmed that selecting the squad was one of the most difficult tasks the coaching group have faced: "The players have worked incredibly hard over the past two months. Sunday was a difficult and very long day for the coaching team and an anxious one for many players. There were some very tight decisions, particularly in the back three and it was also a challenge to make sure that key positions were covered as much as a squad of 31 players allows.
A number of players were very unlucky to miss selection. We know from observing past World Cups that it's important for us to keep track of their performances because some of them are likely to be involved in the tournament.”
Ireland are in Pool D alongside Canada, Romania, Italy and France. Ireland's first game of the tournament comes against the Canadians at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff on Saturday 19th September.
The Ireland national team will host an Open Session at the RDS, Dublin on Tuesday 8th September ahead of travelling to the tournament the following week. Details of how to access tickets for this Open Session will be published shortly.
IRELAND Rugby World Cup 2015 Squad
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 84
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 45
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 1
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 51
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) 74
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 19
Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster) 18
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster) 19
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 12
Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster) 36
Paul O'Connell (Young Munster) 103 captain
Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 31
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster) 51
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster) 30
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster) 9
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 26
Nathan White (Connacht) 2
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 62
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 9
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 41
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster) 30
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht) 11
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) 12
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 9
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 63
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster) 20
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 36
Jared Payne (Ulster) 7
Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster) 63
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster) 52
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster) 17
Wexford's Tadhg Furlong got in ahead of Michael Bent after young tighthead made his debut against Wales on Saturday.
Bent had been in the frame to travel as a back-up on both sides of the front-row, but the coach will now have three tighthead and two loosehead props, with Cian Healy set to make his return to action against England this weekend.
Along with Bent, Marty Moore misses out after suffering a foot injury that has kept him sidelined so far this season, with Furlong joining Nathan White as back-up to Mike Ross.
Ireland kick off their campaign against Canada in three weeks' time, with this week's clash with England their final warm-up.