World number one ranked Ireland have named their 42 man training squad for Rugby World Cup 2023 later this year in France.
Heading to the tournament as the world’s top ranked side on the back of a series win over the All Blacks in New Zealand, an undefeated Autumn Nations Series, and a Six Nations Grand Slam. Expectations are at an all-time high for Andy Farrell and his squad.
Preparations for the tournament will begin in earnest on June 18th for the 42 squad which will be trimmed to 33 players for the tournament itself.
Prior to the tournament, preparations will include three warm-up games against Italy, England and Samoa.
Once at the tournament, Ireland will face reigning World Champions South Africa as well as Scotland, Tonga and Romania in Pool B.
Should they progress from their pool then they will likely face either New Zealand or France in the quarterfinals.
Speaking at the squad announcement, Farrell said “it’s exciting to announce our extended training squad for the first phase of Rugby World Cup preparations, and we’re looking forward to assembling in Dublin next month to hit the ground running as a group.
“It’s pleasing to see that selection has been as tough as ever, as real quality players have initially been unfortunate to have missed out. I’m sure that camp will be competitive enough as we grow minds and bodies and look to push on with our game from last season.
“In the meantime, it’s important that we freshen up for a busy and exciting summer ahead, so we’re ready to get to work on June 18th and build towards the nations series and to France beyond that.”
Notable absentees include Munster flyhalf Joey Carbery who has seen his stock drop significantly over the past six months since missing out on Six Nations selection. Whilst fellow Munster players John Hodnett, Jean Kleyn, Mike Haley and Jeremy Loughman all enjoyed strong URC campaigns.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) May 30, 2023