With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching and Joe Schmidt’s squad announcement imminent, each day we will look at a different part of the squad to try and decipher who will make the final 31-man squad for the tournament in Japan.
Schmidt is likely to opt for a split in favour of forwards with 17/14 a possible outcome.
With that in mind, Schmidt may opt for a split of 2 Scrum-halves, 3 Out-halves and 9 between the Back five positions.
Today we will look at Back Three in the eighth and final part of the series.
On the Plane
Ireland’s starting back three is pretty much set in stone barring injuries. Jacob Stockdale has been sensational for Ireland since making his debut in 2017 and will start on the wing.
Opposite to him, Keith Earls, assuming he makes a full recovery from injury will start at 14.
Although there have been doubts about his attacking ability, Rob Kearney has proven his worth to Joe Schmidt on numerous occasions.
Likely to Travel
Jordan Larmour has become a trusted member of the squad and can cover the wing and full back position.
Munster’s Andrew Conway‘s versatility makes him attractive for selection as he can cover all back three positions.
Dave Kearney will miss out on the squad as will Mike Haley who was dropped from the squad recently after making his debut against Italy.
The ability of Carbery, Addison, Henshaw, Stockdale, Larmour and Conway to play full-back means that Schmidt will have the luxury of travelling with only one recognised number 15.
Potential 2019 Irish RWC Back Three
Andrew Conway (13 Caps)
Keith Earls (77)
Rob Kearney (90)
Jordan Larmour (14)
Jacob Stockdale (19)