Declan Kidney and Brian O'Driscoll during the squad announcement this lunchtime. Inpho
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Fitzgerald and O'Leary miss out on World Cup places

Ireland stars are amongst those excluded by head coach Declan Kidney.

DECLAN KIDNEY HAS named his 30-man panel ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

And the announcement has not been without its surprises.

Leinster full back Luke Fitzgerald has missed out – with Fergus McFadden getting the nod -  as has Munster scrum half, Tomás O’Leary.

Eoin Reddan, Conor Murray and Isaac Boss the three scrum halves on the plane.

Kidney, going for a 16-14 split, has also left the likes of Peter Stringer, Shane Jennings, Mick O’Driscoll and John Hayes outside the camp.

Half the squad will be travelling to the Rugby World Cup for the first time including the recently-capped McFadden and Conor Murray.

“With the quality of people that are there at the moment it’s been extraordinarily difficult in picking the squad. But I’m delighted with the people who we did pick because there’s some extraordinary – not alone players – but people there,” Kidney said after he ran through the list of names.

Kidney lauded the experience Geordan Murphy will bring to the party. “Isn’t that a real case of the highs and lows of sport?

“I was involved eight years ago when Geordan broke his leg at Murrayfield and now he gets his opportunity here too. He’s an experienced man who brings a lot of attributes to the pitch. It’s always great to be able to name somebody – as difficult as it is to exclude somebody.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the men that have been training with us. I can’t speak highly enough of the way they took [being excluded], you know the men that they are.”

Skipper Brian O’Driscoll urged those who are in the squad to now make the trip a happy one.

“It shows the strength of our squad and the quality there – the people who missed out those who got in.  People that have made it in will be delighted, but the next thing is to put the victory in place.

“The mentality of this World Cup is to make it a success,” he added.

RTÉ rugby commentator Michael Corcoran believes the right calls have been made while those of you on Twitter have been reacting.

Ireland Rugby World Cup panel - Forwards: Best, Buckley, Court, Cronin, Cullen, Ferris, Flannery, Healy, Heaslip, Leamy, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, O’Brien, Ross, Ryan, D Wallace.

Backs: Boss, Bowe, D’Arcy, Earls, Kearney, McFadden, Murphy, Murray, O’Driscoll, O’Gara, Reddan, Sexton, Trimble, P Wallace.

What’s your verdict on this squad?

Poll Results:

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt (364)
Deccie got it bang on? (270)
How can he leave those guys off! (86)

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