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A Guide to Irish Rugby Players at the World cup 2011

Irish rugby players: backs

The Irish rugby players have flown to New Zealand to prepare for their opening fixture against USA on September 11th. Irish coach Declan Kidney has included Leicester full-back Geordan Murphy and Munster scrum-half Conor Murray in his 30-man squad alongside Leinster scrum-halves Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss. Captain Brian O'Driscoll, named alongside fellow centre Gordon D'arcy, is set to lead out his team against the USA after sitting out a friendly against England with a shoulder injury.

Irish rugby players: forwards

Among Ireland's 16-man forward line are props Tony Buckley of Sale), Tom Court of Ulster and Cian Healy and Michael Ross of Leinster. Hooker Rory Best of Ulster, locks Donnacha O'Callaghan and Paul O'Connell of Munster and back-rows Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien of Leinster are named among what is a strong squad on paper.

Irish Rugby players to miss out

Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald is an omission from the squad, as is Munster scrum-half Tomas O'Leary and Felix Jones who suffered an ankle injury in a warm-up match against France. Flanker David Wallace faces six months out after damaging knee ligaments in a tackle by England's Manu Tuilagi. His replacement in the squad is Leinster's Shane Jennings.

Irish rugby players: chances

Ireland has qualified for all six World Cup tournaments but are the only old Five Nations team yet to reach the last four. They will be keen to avoid a repeat of a dismal 2007 showing, but defeats to Scotland, France and England in warm up matches have set alarm bells ringing. They share Pool C with Australia, USA, Italy and Ireland. Follow the fortunes of the Irish team via the official site www.irishrugby.ie or on Twitter @irfurugby.

 

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