Declan Kidney has made some shock admissions in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup squad, none more so than Tomas O’Leary at scrum half.
O’Leary was given his chance to play his way in to the Ireland squad on Saturday as Ireland hosted France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, but a poor performance from the scrum-half saw him play his way out of Kidney’s squad.
It’s the second major tournament that O’Leary has missed out on following the injury that ruled him out of the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, and with form ruling him out of the World Cup it’s been a long slide from grace for the scrum-half.
In comes O’Leary’s Munster team-mate Conor Murray at scrum-half despite making just the one Test appearance in France nine days ago, but Murray is likely to find himself behind Eoin Reddan in the pecking order.
Luke Fitzgerald tried his hardest to play his way in to the Ireland squad and was Ireland’s most creative back against France on Saturday, but two tries in 20 starts ultimately cost him his place.
With Rob Kearny not fully fit, in comes veteran Geordan Murphy to cover Kearny at full-back should cover be needed, although Murphy has his place because of the injury to Felix Jones.
Up front the Irish team almost picks itself but Stephen Ferris has recovered from injury in time to travel while Donnacha Ryan travels as a fourth lock and Tony Buckley beat off competition from John Hayes and Marcus Horan for the final prop spot.
Backs: Isaac Boss (Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers), Conor Murray (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster) (capt), Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster).
Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster), Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks), Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Jerry Flannery (Munster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Denis Leamy (Munster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), David Wallace (Munster).