Horgan suffers Rugby World Cup blow
June 17, 2011
Horgan appears to have lost his battle to be fit for this year's Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
Shane Horgan's hopes of playing in this year's Rugby World Cup appear to have all but ended after the injured winger was left out of Ireland's latest training squad.
The Leinster veteran, currently sidelined following surgery on a knee injury, is one of three players omitted from a 43-man group on medical grounds alongside Ulster duo Ian Humphries and Nevin Spence who are also struggling for fitness having gone under the knife.
"The rehabilitation period is such that all three players will not be able to take part in the Rugby World Cup conditioning schedule to enable them to build up the required fitness levels," the Irish Rugby Football Union said in a statement, "and so none of these three players will be available for the games during the Guinness Summer Series in August."
There is better news for short-term injury concerns - Leinster flanker Shane Jennings (arm) and Sale-bound Munster prop Tony Buckley (shoulder) - who are included as it is expected that both will have healed sufficiently before the World Cup warm-up clashes with Scotland, France (home and away), Connacht and England in August.
Munster fullback Felix Jones, Connacht forward Mike McCarthy, Munster scrum-half Conor Murray and Connacht prop Brett Wilkinson are the only uncapped players included in squad that will gather for three camps over the next couple of months as Ireland step up their preparations for the sport's showpiece event.
"This is the first step in preparation for the Rugby World Cup and the group called into our first camp shows that there is competition for places right across the board," commented coach Declan Kidney. "There are players who we have identified as part of the larger Rugby World Cup squad who will not be in the first camp and will be based with their provincial and club fitness staff, but that may change as we go through June and July, so none of that larger group are necessarily out of contention for the final squad.
"The aim three years ago was to deepen the strength of the squad and there are a number of players that have come through in that time either playing with their provinces or with the Wolfhounds and the Ireland team. There are big challenges ahead for the group with the coming preseason and then five games in August".
Ireland's Rugby World Cup training squad:
Backs (19): Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht), Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster), Robert Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Conor Murray (Cork Constitution/Munster), Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster), Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster), Tomas O'Leary (Dolphin/Munster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary's College/Leinster), Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)
Forwards (24): Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Tony Buckley (Sale Sharks), Tom Court (Malone/Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster), John Hayes (Bruff/Munster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster), Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster), Shane Jennings (St.Mary's College/Leinster), Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster), Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht), Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Mick O'Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster), Michael Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Damien Varley (Garryown/Munster), David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster), Brett Wilkinson (Galwegians/Connacht)
Not considered due to injury:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in Pictures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year