Irish RWC Squad Depth Chart- Centres

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 Centres in the seventh part of the series.

2019 RWC Potential Irish Props.

2019 RWC Potential Irish Hookers.

2019 RWC Potential Irish Locks.

2019 RWC Potential Irish Back Rows

2019 RWC Potential Irish Scrum-Halves

2019 RWC Potential Irish Out-Halves

On the Plane

Garry Ringrose is Ireland’s undisputed number one outside centre and he will start against Scotland in the opener.

Guinness PRO14 Semi-Final, RDS, Dublin 18/5/2019 Leinster vs Munster Leinster’s Garry Ringrose and Peter O’Mahony of Munster Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Although he was named at full-back in the defeat to England in the opening game of this years Six Nations, Robbie Henshaw will travel as one of the centres as one of Schmidt’s most trusted servants.

Likely to Travel

Since his debut 2017, Bundee Aki has performed admirably for Ireland and would have been seen as a certainty to travel up until recently.

However, Chris Farrell‘s sheer size and ability at both inside and outside centre could see him pip the Connacht man.

NatWest 6 Nations Championship Round 3, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 24/2/2018 Ireland vs Wales Ireland’s Rob Kearney and Chris Farrell celebrate after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

One man that has gone largely unnoticed but must travel is Will Addison. The Ulster man offers an explosive attacking game and can also play anywhere accross the backline.

Had injury not prematurely ended his season, there is little reason to suggest that Addison would not be a regular now and while there will be question marks over his fitness, the risk is worth the reward in his case.

With an X-Factor needed in Japan, Addison must be selected.

Missing Out

The exclusion of Bundee Aki for Farrell or Addison may feel a bit left field, but after recent displays, Ireland need a spark and the latter pair are more likely to provide that.

Joey Carbery’s ability to shift to 12 may also shift Schmidt’s thinking in favour of the predominately outside centres.

Guinness Series, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 10/11/2018 Ireland vs Argentina Ireland’s Bundee Aki scores his sides second try despite the efforts of Pablo Matera of Argentina Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

2019 Potential Irish RWC Centres

Will Addison (3 Caps)

Chris Farrell (6)

Robbie Henshaw (37)

Garry Ringrose (21)

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Jack Neville