A Detailed Look At The Depth Ireland Now Has In Each Position

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Teams don’t win World Cup’s, squads do.

Joe Schmidt has now been in charge of Ireland for just over three years. In that time he has brought Ireland two six nations titles, lead them to a Rugby World Cup quarter final and defeated the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years.

The one thing that has been a huge issue for Irish teams over the years is depth in each position. Ireland has always been able to produce world-class stars over the years such as Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll to name but two.

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The issue however is as soon as a couple of injuries started building up, Ireland just didn’t have the depth there to overcome them. Last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter final was a testament to that. The game was there for the taking, but once again Ireland stumbled.

Last week against the Wallabies, Joe Schmidt’s men lost Sean O’Brien before the game and Johnny Sexton early on. That followed with more injuries in the back-line with the likes of Trimble and Payne going off, leaving Ireland with an outhalf at fullback and a scrumhalf on the wing.

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Despite that, Ireland still hung on an beat a Wallabies side that were unbeaten in their European tour and not too long ago competing in a Rugby World Cup final. The old Ireland would have crumbled, because the depth just wasn’t there.

Here’s the kind of depth Schmidt now has in each position.

Rory Best, Jack McGrath and Mike Ross 22/11/2014

Loosehead

Jack McGrath
Cian Healy
Dave Kilcoyne
James Cronin
Rodney Ah You
Denis Buckley

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Hooker

Rory Best
Sean Cronin
James Tracy
Niall Scannell
Richardt Strauss
Rob Herring

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Tighthead

Tadgh Furlong
John Ryan
Finlay Bealham
Stephen Archer
Michael Bent
Mike Ross

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Second-row

Devin Toner
Ultan Dillane
Iain Henderson
Donnacha Ryan
Billy Holland
Mike McCarthy
Ian Nagle
Quinn Roux

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Backrow

CJ Stander
Jamie Heaslip
Peter O’Mahony
Josh van der Flier
Sean O’Brien
Jordi Murphy
Tommy O’Donnell
Dan Leavy
Jack O’Donoghue
Rhys Ruddock
Chris Henry
Robin Copeland
Robbie Diack
Jack Conan

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Scrumhalf

Conor Murray
Kieran Marmion
Luke McGrath

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Outhalf

Johnny Sexton
Joey Carbery
Ian Madigan
Paddy Jackson
Ian Keatley
Tyler Bleyendall (2017?)

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Centre

Robbie Henshaw
Garry Ringrose
Luke Marshall
Jared Payne
Stuart Olding
Stuart McCloskey
Keith Earls
Rory Scannell
Noel Reid
Bundee Aki (2017?)

Simon Zebo scores their fourth try 5/11/2016

Wing

Simon Zebo
Andrew Trimble
Tommy Bowe
Keith Earls
Craig Gilroy
Darren Sweetnam
Niyi Adeolukun
Matt Healy
Dave Kearney
Darren Sweetnam
Cian Kelleher

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Fullback

Rob Kearney
Simon Zebo
Tieran O’Halloran
Jared Payne

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