Head Coach Andy Farrell has today announced his 33-player Ireland squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, with Jonathan Sexton named to captain the team in France.
The Ireland squad will depart Dublin for their base camp in Tours on Thursday, as preparations step up a gear for the Rugby World Cup Pool B opener against Romania in Bordeaux on Saturday, 9 September (Kick-off 2.30pm Irish time/3.30pm local time).
Sexton is one of three Ireland players set to appear at their fourth Rugby World Cup, with the captain having featured at the 2011, 2015 and 2019 editions alongside Conor Murray and recent Test centurion Keith Earls.
There is a wealth of Rugby World Cup experience throughout the 33-player travelling squad, as Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Robbie Henshaw and Peter O’Mahony prepare for their third global tournament, while Bundee Aki, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Garry Ringrose and Josh van der Flier were all involved in Japan four years ago.
The remaining 18 players in Farrell’s squad will be making their Rugby World Cup debuts in France. Forwards Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Jeremy Loughman, Caelan Doris, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Joe McCarthy, Tom O’Toole and Dan Sheehan and backs Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Hugo Keenan, Stuart McCloskey, James Lowe and Jimmy O’Brien all earn selection following Ireland’s Bank of Ireland Nations Series wins over Italy, England and Samoa.
Ireland open their Pool B campaign against Romania at Stade de Bordeaux, before taking on Tonga in their second outing in Nantes on Saturday, 16 September (Kick-off 8pm Irish time/9pm local time).
Farrell’s side then move on to the Stade de France in Paris for clashes against defending champions South Africa on Saturday, 23 September (Kick-off 8pm Irish time/9pm local time) and Scotland on Saturday, 7 October (Kick-off 8pm Irish time/9pm local time).