Luke left out by Ireland

Luke Fitzgerald has been left out of the Ireland World Cup squad but coach Declan Kidney has included 12 other Lions. [more]

Luke left out by Ireland

Luke Fitzgerald has been left out of the Ireland World Cup squad but coach Declan Kidney has included 12 other Lions.

Fitzgerald, who won a Lions Test cap in the second international against the Springboks two summers ago, has struggled for form after making his comeback from a serious leg injury at the beginning of last season.

The Leinster wing impressed as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s defeat to France but still misses out at the expense of fellow Lion Tommy Bowe, who hasn’t played in any of the World Cup warm-up games due to a foot injury, Ulster wing Andrew Trimble and utility backs Keith Earls and Fergus McFadden.

Geordan Murphy, a Lion in New Zealand six years ago, has been included alongside Rob Kearney at full back after Munster youngster Felix Jones was ruled out with a damaged ankle.

Another of the headline calls came at scrum-half where Kidney left out former first-choice No9 Tomas O’Leary.

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O’Leary lost out to Munster team-mate Connor Murray, with Leinster duo Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss taking the other scrum-half spots.

Stephen Ferris is included in the back row having made his comeback from an eight-month injury lay off at the weekend, although veteran Lions prop John Hayes failed to make the final 30.

Lions legend Brian O’Driscoll skippers the party which also includes 2009 Lions leader Paul O’Connell and fellow Lions Gordon D’Arcy, Ronan O’Gara, Donncha O’Callaghan, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip, Bowe, Earls, Kearney, Murphy and Ferris.

The 30-man squad features 15 Rugby World Cup debutants in a split of 16 forwards and 14 backs.

Kidney will now turn his attentions to who willl make his starting XV for the World Cup opener with the USA when Ireland host England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Ireland squad for the World Cup

Backs: Rob Kearney (Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Keith Earls (Munster), Fergus McFadden, Gordon D'Arcy, Brian O'Driscoll (captain, all Leinster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster), Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss (both Leinster), Connor Murray (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster)

Forwards: Tony Buckley (Sale), T Court (Ulster), Cian Healy, Mike Ross (both Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), S Cronin (Leinster), Jerry Flannery (Munster),Leo Cullen (Leinster), Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell (both Munster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan, David Wallace (both Munster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Denis Leamy (Munster)

NB Bold denotes Lion

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