You’re the boss: Pick your first-choice Ireland 23 for the World Cup

INJURIES MEANT MEN like Simon Zebo, Jack McGrath and Rhys Ruddock got chances to show their credentials as starters for Ireland this month, with all three of those players impressing at various stages.

Sean O’Brien, Cian Healy, Andrew Trimble, Luke Fitzgerald, Keith Earls, Chris Henry, Donnacha Ryan, and a host of others will come back into selection contention if they can regain fitness over the remainder of the season, however.

Simon Zebo impressed against Australia, while Conor Murray is playing at world-class levels. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

It should all leave Joe Schmidt with excellent depth from which to select his 31-man squad for the World Cup.

With 10 months remaining until the global tournament, we’ve decided to test our prediction skills by selecting what we believe will be Ireland’s first-choice matchday 23 by the time the World Cup rolls around.

We now invite you to do the same. Simply put, what do you think Schmidt’s first-choice Ireland 23 will be by September 2015 in the admittedly unlikely event that every Irish-qualified player is fit and available? Let us know in the comments section.

Sean Farrell

R Kearney; A Trimble, J Payne, S Olding, D Kearney; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Moore; D Toner, P O’Connell; P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: R Strauss, J McGrath, M Ross / N White, I Henderson, R Ruddock, K Marmion, JJ Hanrahan, T Bowe.

Olding provides much attacking skill at inside centre. Source: Colm O’Neill/INPHO

Will Slattery