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Twelve Munster Players Heading to World Cup
9 September 2003, 12:10 pm
Twelve Munster player's have been named in Ireland's 2003 Rugby World Cup Squad when it was announced this morning. One notable exclusion from the squad is David Wallace.
Twelve Munster player's have been named in Ireland's 2003 Rugby World Cup Squad when it was announced this (Sunday) morning. One notable exclusion from the squad is David Wallace.

Despite a successful, try-scoring return to the side which beat Scotland on Saturday, Wallace was omitted from the panel with Alan Quinlan and Eric Miller getting the vote to complete a six-strong back-row selection. Wallace will no doubt be hugely disappointed to miss out and his inclusion in a 'shadow squad' will be little consolation.

Peter Stringer is joined in the contest at scrum-half by Guy Easterby and Neil Doak, the only uncapped player in the squad.

Among what might have been considered close calls, the good news is that Anthony Horgan has managed to fight off the challenge from Tyrone Howe, Gordon D'Arcy and Justin Bishop to claim his rightful place in the squad, his performance on Saturday in Murrayfield a timely reminder to the Irish management of his class.

In the pack Donnacha O'Callaghan got the nod over Leo Cullen for one of the lock positions and this could prove to be an inspired decision by the Irish selectors. O'Callaghan was in buoyant mood when contacted minutes after he had heard the news although he was quick to add his disappointment that his colleague David Wallace was omitted.

"It's just brilliant news. Fantastic. I know it might sound silly but I'm finding it hard to believe. I'm delighted or I will be when it sinks in but I'm really gutted for Wally. I really thought he'd be in the squad and I'm really sorry for him that he's not.

"It was a nervy few days for me because I knew I faced a challenge from Leo (Cullen) and I had no indication whatever about how things stood. Everyone was saying that the game on Friday would decide it and there was pressure there. I was happy enough the way things went - except for the shoo-ing he gave me - but still there was a lot of tension until I heard the news.

"I'm thrilled for my family, they've been great really. But as I said I don't think it's really sank in yet.I hope it's not a big wind-up, Is it? "

No, indeed no wind up. Just a recognition of the talent that is emerging from the O'Callaghan household.

Keith Wood will play in his third successive World Cup tournament when he leads Ireland to RWC 2003 in Australia.

The 30 - strong squad is made up of 17 forwards and 13 backs.

Ireland Coach Eddie O'Sullivan says: "In spite of some untimely injuries to Geordan Murphy and Rob Henderson, I am happy that we have a particularly strong squad with a good mix of experience and skill. This is borne out by the fact that difficult decisions had to be made in the selections of many positions.

"We have now taken the first formal step in the road to Rugby World Cup 2003 by naming the squad and we know we do so with the full support of the Irish public."

The Ireland Rugby World Cup 2003 squad is:

Forwards (17)

Simon Best (Ulster/Belfast Harlequins) Shane Byrne (Leinster/Blackrock College) Reggie Corrigan (Leinster/ Greystones) Victor Costello (Leinster/St. Mary's College) Simon Easterby (Llanelli) Anthony Foley(Munster/Shannon) Keith Gleeson (Leinster/St.Mary's College) John Hayes (Munster/Shannon) Marcus Horan (Munster/Shannon) Gary Longwell (Ulster/Ballymena) Eric Miller (Leinster/Terenure College) Donnacha O'Callaghan(Munster/Cork Constitution) Paul O'Connell (Munster/Young Munster) Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster/St. Mary's College) Frank Sheahan (Munster/Cork Constitution) Alan Quinlan (Munster/Shannon) Keith Wood (Munster/Garryowen).

Backs (13)

Jonathon Bell (Ulster/Dungannon) Girvan Dempsey (Leinster/Terenure College) Neil Doak (Ulster/Belfast Harlequins) Guy Easterby (Rotherham) Denis Hickie (Leinster/St. Mary's College) Anthony Horgan (Munster/Cork Constitution) Shane Horgan (Leinster/Lansdowne) David Humphreys (Ulster/Dungannon) John Kelly (Munster/Cork Constitution) Kevin Maggs (Bath) Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster/Blackrock College) Ronan O'Gara (Munster/Cork Constitution) Peter Stringer (Munster/Shannon).

Not considered because of injury: Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Rob Henderson (Munster - Garryowen).

Eddie O'Sullivan admitted that there were several close calls for places in his 30-strong player squad for the World up and as a result has placed 14 players on standby.

Shadow Squad:

Justin Bishop (London Irish), Paul Burke (Harlequins), Emmet Byrne (Leinster - St. Mary's College), Leo Cullen (Leinster - Blackrock College), Gordon Darcy (Leinster - Lansdowne), Kieron Dawson (London Irish), Justin Fitzpatrick (Castres), Tyrone Howe (Ulster - Dungannon), Mike Mullins (Munster - Old Crescent), Brian O'Meara (Leinster - Cork Constitution), David Quinlan (Leinster - Blackrock College), Paul Shields (Ulster - Ballymena), David Wallace (Munster - Garryowen), Paddy Wallace (Ulster - Ballymena).

Ireland RWC Management:

Manager - Brian O'Brien. Coach - Eddie O'Sullivan Assistant Coach - Declan Kidney Forwards Coach - Niall O'Donovan. Defence Coach - Mike Ford Scrummage Coach - Tony Darcy Kicking Coach - Mark Tainton Doctor - Gary O' Driscoll Physiotherapist - Ailbe McCormack Fitness Coach - Mike McGurn Bio-Mechanist - Emilie Foster Masseur - Shaun Gilmore Video Analysist - Mervyn Murphy Baggage Master - Patrick O'Reilly Squad Administrator - Gerard Carmody Media Liaison Officer - John Redmond.

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