Toner misses out as Ireland coach Schmidt names Rugby World Cup squad

By Sports Desk September 02, 2019

Devin Toner has missed out on Ireland's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Toner has been a regular since Schmidt took charge in 2013, but the 33-year-old will not travel to Japan.

South Africa-born second row Jean Kleyn, who only recently qualified to play for Ireland under the residency rule, has made the cut and the Munster man is one of 19 World Cup debutants in coach Joe Schmidt's selection.

Rory Best, set to feature at his fourth and final World Cup before retirement, captains the squad, with Sean Cronin, Keith Earls, Cian Healy, Rob Kearney, Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton having also appeared at the showpiece event in 2011 and 2015.

Luke McGrath has overcome competition from Kieran Marmion to take the second scrum-half spot, behind first-choice Conor Murray.

"It was a difficult thing right from the start to have the 45 that we had," said Schmidt, whose side sit second in the world rankings after their win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

"We went down to 40 players and to go from 40 down to 31 was really difficult, but we had a process whereby we looked back through every training, looked through the games.  

"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 group and trying to get a balance of current form versus previous performance, it's always a very difficult conundrum to try to solve."

Ireland start their tournament against Scotland at the Yokohama Stadium in Tokyo on September 22.

Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad in full:

Forwards: Rory Best, 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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