Rugby World Cup 2011

Ireland axe O'Leary, Fitzgerald

2011-08-22 16:11
Tomas O'Leary (File)

Dublin - Ireland dropped scrumhalf Tomas O'Leary and former British Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald from their Rugby World Cup squad on Monday.

With the world's No 7 ranked team seeking to regroup after three successive warm-up losses, coach Declan Kidney named scrumhalves Isaac Boss, Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan in his 30 man squad.

O'Leary had gifted France a try with a poor pass during Ireland's 26-22 warm-up defeat in Dublin on Saturday .

Veteran Munster scrumhalf Peter Stringer also failed to make the squad.

Kidney dropped Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald, who has struggled to return to form after an injury two years ago, while promising fullback Felix Jones was left out after damaging ligaments in his foot on Saturday.

It will be the first World Cup for 15 of the 30-strong squad, which includes 16 forwards and 14 backs.

Ireland will bid to bounce back against England next Saturday in the last of their four warm-up games before the World Cup, which takes place in New Zealand from Sept. 9-Oct. 23.

They will need a confidence boost if they want to get past Australia and a resurgent Italy in the group stage to reach their first quarter-final for eight years.

Ireland begin their campaign against United States in New Plymouth on Sept. 11. The other teams in Pool C are Australia, Italy and Russia.


Forwards - Rory Best, Tony Buckley, Tom Court, Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen, Stephen Ferris, Jerry Flannery, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Denis Leamy, Sean O'Brien, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, David Wallace

Backs - Isaac Boss, Tommy Bowe, Gordon D'Arcy, Keith Earls, Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Geordan Murphy, Conor Murray, Brian O'Driscoll (captain), Ronan O'Gara, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace


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Taking into account where it will be held, the likely player retirements and new coaches in charge, which team looks best-placed to mount a challenge to the All Blacks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England?


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