Joe Schmidt has officially announced the 31-man squad that will travel to the World Cup in England this month, and that can mean only one thing.
Yep, it's time to start analyzing the worst case scenarios and play Captain Hindsight before a single ball has even been kicked.
The notable exclusions include Andrew Trimble, whose lack of minutes on the field this year clearly impacted the decision, as well as Felix Jones, who had been a stalwart on the bench for the last Six Nations campaign, but has now lost his place to Simon Zebo. Marty Moore's injury didn't leave him with enough time to recover, while Dave Kilcoyne, Isaac Boss, Fergus McFadden, and Gordon D'Arcy also miss out.
The squad has one true bolter, and that comes in the form of Leinster prop, Tadhg Furlong. Having only made his debut over the weekend, the Wexford man has been given a squad place for the No.1 jersey alongside Mike Ross and Nathan White.
Arguably the biggest talking point to come out of the squad selection is the half-back situation, as we're only traveling to the tournament with two scrum-halves, with Ian Madigan providing cover as the third behind Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan. Madigan, who has never played at scrum-half, will more than likely be second choice out-half behind Johnny Sexton.
Here's the full squad:
Rory Best, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Paul O’Connell (capt), Jamie Heaslip, Chris Henry, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Nathan White.
Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Ian Madigan, Conor Murray, Jared Payne, Eoin Reddan, Johnny Sexton, Simon Zebo.