Rugby World Cup 2019: Devin Toner left out of Ireland squad

  • 03/09/2019

Ireland's 31-man squad to contest the Rugby World Cup in Japan has been confirmed and it includes one glaring omission.

Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt has left veteran lock Devin Toner out of the group in favour of relatively untested South African-born lock Jean Kleyn.

Kleyn made his debut less than a month ago in the warm-up against Italy, just two days after having qualified for Ireland on residency.

The 67-test international Toner has started in 50 of Schmidt's 67 tests in charge of Ireland.

"We had a process whereby we looked back through every training, looked through the games,'' Schmidt said.

"There were some guys who obviously had more experience and probably had more credit in the bank and were more established, and there were other guys who were trying to force their way into the group and trying to get a balance of current form versus previous performance. It's always a very, very difficult conundrum to solve."

Chris Farrell was picked ahead of Will Addison in the centres, beside Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, and Garry Ringrose.

Luke McGrath edged out Kieran Marmion at halfback, with Ireland taking just two nines.

According to Schmidt, first choice pivot Jonathan Sexton is over the thumb and leg injuries and will feature in their final warm-up match against Wales in Dublin on Sunday (NZT).

Hooker Rory Best was captain as expected, and will appear in his fourth and last World Cup.

Ireland's 31-man Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards: Rory Best (captain), Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Kilcoyne, Iain Henderson, Jean Kleyn, Peter O'Mahony, Andrew Porter, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier. 

Backs: Bundee Aki, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.

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