No World Cup hat trick for Horgan

Shane Horgan

Shane Horgan

Shane Horgan’s prospects of making it to a third World Cup sank when the preliminary training squad of 43 was announced earlier today. Horgan was ruled out on the basis of a knee injury which was operated on shortly after the Heineken Cup win last month. Did anyone realise it was that serious?

According to the press release which accompanied the squad Horgan, Nevin Spence and Ian Humphreys would all have missed the August warm-up games because of their rehab after surgery. So if they couldn’t complete the fitness programme to that point then that’s that.

I understand Horgan’s rehab is a two to three month affair, but it’s not clear if either of theUlsterplayers have any chance of making a standby list. But then it wasn’t clear asLeinsterwrapped up their season that their wing was going for an op that would cost him a World Cup spot. And his form withLeinsterwas such that he would surely have made the squad.

Otherwise the selection closes the door finally on the group of outsiders who hoped that the unlikely might come to pass. I’d love to have seen Rhys Ruddock still involved but when Joe Schmidt left him out of the Magners Final squad – he would have been perfect for that gig – it killed his last chance to impress Kidney.

The names most people bandied about were James Downey, Jamie Hagan, Devin Toner and John Muldoon. A year ago this month Muldoon was touring New Zealand with Ireland, and despite breaking his arm early in his debut Test, he looked capable and comfortable. And we went home from that trip thinking that he was a contender for September 2011.

In fact we reckoned the same about the try-scoring Dan Tuohy, who touched down in that game in New Plymouth within two minutes of coming on. He doesn’t get a mention anywhere. Tuohy was rehabbing an injury since the end of the season but is due to fetch up with Ulster for pre-season training next week.

There is a cryptic Kidneyesque quote in the statement saying – and I’m paraphrasing here – that even if you haven’t made the 43, or been listed as unavailable, or fallen down dead then you still have a chance of making the plane to NZ. I’m inferring that the likes of Muldoon and Tuohy are in this category.

And typical of Kidney too he has postponed the scrumhalf dilemma for another while at least. A world record five 9s make the initial group, with Conor Murray’s excellent form being rewarded, as is that of full back Felix Jones. The next selection is already keeping the coach awake at night, when 30 names will have to be announced on 27 August. There’s a bit to run between now and then.  

Ireland World Cup Training Squad

Backs (19):
Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht)
Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Geordan Murphy (Leicester)
Conor Murray (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster)
Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

Forwards (24):
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks)
Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
Sean Cronin (Leinster)
Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
Shane Jennings (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Michael Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
Damien Varley (Garryown/Munster)
David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
Brett Wilkinson (Galwegians/Connacht)

Not considered due to injury:
Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster) – Knee
Ian Humphries (Ballymena/Ulster) – Shoulder
Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster) – shoulder

Ireland Rugby World Cup Preseason Schedule
June 27th – July 1st: Ireland Squad camp, Carton House, Kildare
July 2nd – July 14th: Players based in provincial/club centres
July 14th – July 15th: Ireland Squad camp, Carton House, Kildare
July 16th – July 24th: Players based in provincial/club centres
July 25th – July 29th: Ireland Squad camp, Carton House, Kildare

Guinness Summer Series
August 6th: Scotland v Ireland, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
August 13th: France v Ireland, Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux
August 18th: Ireland Select XV v Connacht, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin
August 20th: Ireland v France, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
August 27th:Ireland vEngland, Aviva Stadium, Dublin


About Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning has been involved in rugby all of his life as a player, coach and journalist. He has been rugby correspondent on the Sunday Independent since 1996, and has been reporting on the game since the mid 1980s when he stopped playing with Clontarf. In 2007 his book From There to Here, a definitive account of Ireland’s transition from amateur to professional rugby, was published to critical acclaim.
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2 Responses to No World Cup hat trick for Horgan

  1. Brian Hand says:

    I was hoping James Downey might sneak in but not to be!

  2. You have to feel for Shane Horgan – he’s had a great season and should have been in there. For the life of me I can’t understand why there are 5 scrum halves even at this point – it doesn’t exactly give time for settling combinations or inspire any of them with confidence from the coach. While this squad doesn’t really have many surprises, the one really worth looking at is the U20 where some Irish players have been displaying real class.

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