After being awarded player of the year in Ireland and being a main figure in their last two World Cups, most would have thought Trimble had done enough previously to ensure his selection. Unfortunately for the winger, his toe injury kept him out of the squad and his last 33 minutes of play didn’t do enough to warrant his selection in the final 31. His exclusion may have been aided by the fact his toe injury forced him off in the warm up game against Wales.
If playing time was deemed as essential for selection, Cian Healy broke the mold making the squad without playing in any of the warm up games. Healy had neck surgery in May, and like three of Wales’ selections, this is a gamble by Joe Schmidt.
Tadhg Furlong made his debut against Wales on Saturday 29th August and beat off competition from Michael Bent to play in England and Wales this autumn. David Kilcoyne’s ever presence in the warm up games suggest he was one of the closest to making the final 31 only to be edged out by Jack McGrath at prop alongside Healy.
With Trimble, Marty Moore also missed out on being included as he recovers from a foot injury. Keith Earlsand Luke Fitzgerald also picked up injuries however they made selection meaning these injuries appear to be minor. Others to miss out include Felix Jones, Fergus McFadden, Isaac Boss, Kieran Marmion and Craig Gilroy. Jones contributed a try in one of the warm up games but in the end missed out at full back. Paddy Jackson and Ian Madigan made it as back up to Johnny Sexton at fly half.
The whole 31 man squad is as shown below:
Hookers: Rory Best, Sean Cronin, Richardt Strauss.
Props: Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Jack McGrath, Mike Ross, Nathan White.
Locks: Iain Henderson, Paul O’Connell (captain), Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner.
Back-row: Jamie Heaslip, Chris Henry, Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony.
Back three: Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Simon Zebo.
Centres: Darren Cave, Luke Fitzgerald, Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne.
Fly-halves: Paddy Jackson, Ian Madigan, Jonathan Sexton.
Scrum-halves: Conor Murray, Eoin Reddan.
The World Cup kicks off on Friday 18th September when England face Fiji at Twickenham.
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