Connacht centre Robbie Henshaw and tighthead prop Nathan White are two of 17 players who will make their tournament debuts at Rugby World Cup 2015. The squad is made up of 17 Forwards and 14 Backs and will be captained by Paul O'Connell who is the most capped player in the Ireland group with 103 caps.
Commenting on the inclusion of Robbie and Nathan, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:
“It’s fantastic for Connacht Rugby to have both Robbie and Nathan going to the Rugby World Cup. Four years ago, there was no Connacht representation but in recent years, we have seen more and more Connacht players pushing for international honours. It is what our vision of Grassroots to Green Shirts is all about and is a testament to the work that is going on all around the province. We are extremely proud of our Connacht players and we wish them, Joe Schmidt and the Ireland team the very best for the tournament.”
Ireland Head Coach, Joe Schmidt, confirmed that the process of selecting the squad was a difficult one, stating that "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 Constitution/Munster) 17