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.
As such he may choose, 5 props, 3 hookers, 4 locks and 5 back rows.
Today we will look at the Props.
With that split there are a pair of guaranteed props to travel to Japan.
On the Plane
After a couple of seasons spent watching Jack McGrath flourish at loosehead prop for both Leinster and Ireland, Cian Healy has returned to form over the past eighteen months and is once again undisputed first choice loosehead prop.
Since bursting onto the scene two years ago, Tadgh Furlong has quickly established himself as the world’s premier tighthead with three starting Lions tests under his belt already.
Likely to travel
While McGrath has suffered a dip in form, Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne has come into the reckoning with the Limerick man now firmly second choice behind Healy. Would be a huge surprise if he didn’t travel.
Munster’s John Ryan has proven an able backup for Furlong and as such he should be on the plane.
His main competition is Andrew Porter, but the Leinster man’s ability to play either side of the scrum may see him get the nod to travel also with Schmidt taking three recognised tightheads in 2015.
Unfortunatley it looks as though former Lion Jack McGrath will miss out with his 40 minute cameo against Italy a possible signal of this.
Finlay Bealham will also miss out after being one of three players that were dropped from the squad last week.
Potential 2019 Irish RWC Props
Tadhg Furlong (33 Caps)
Cian Healy (89)
Dave Kilcoyne (29)
Andrew Porter (15)
John Ryan (19)