Rob Herring, Noel Reid out of Cup training squad
PA Sport
August 11, 2015
Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt overseas training© Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Ulster hooker Rob Herring and Leinster centre Noel Reid have been omitted from Ireland's World Cup training squad.

Ireland must submit their final 31-man squad on August 31, and Schmidt could make further cuts to his training group later this week. Herring's departure leaves hookers Rory Best, Sean Cronin and Richardt Strauss all-but nailed-on for the final World Cup squad, barring injury.

Reid's omission does little to clarify the midfield options, with some six potential centres remaining in Ireland's World Cup training camp.

"Two guys have gone back to their provinces this week and over the next while it'll be an ongoing process," said assistant coach Richie Murphy. "Rob Herring has gone back to Ulster and Noel Reid has gone back to Leinster.

"We're not here just to cut players and get rid of them though. We'll see how that is and when we feel we're in a really good position guys will feed back to their clubs."

Tighthead prop Marty Moore and three-quarter Luke Fitzgerald are both fit for selection for Saturday's warm-up Test against Scotland in Dublin. Leinster prop Moore and club-mate Fitzgerald have both now fully recovered from shoulder injuries, with both carrying strong claims to final World Cup selection if fit.

Confirming Cian Healy is still battling his neck problem, Murphy said Ireland will look to mix up selection for Saturday's Scotland visit, following on from last weekend's 35-21 win in Wales.

"Guys are looking good, Marty (Moore) is back in full contact and he looks fine," said Murphy. "Luke Fitzgerald is back in full contact and looks really good. Most of the squad now are back on their feet and available for selection.

"There's no real update on Cian Healy, he's progressing well. He's not doing full contact but he's doing more or less the whole session yesterday and today. He's progressing reasonably well. There will be quite a few changes (to the team to face Scotland). The guys at the weekend did reasonably well.

"It's another opportunity to get more guys onto the pitch over these first two games, so I think you would expect quite a few changes and some guys who haven't had game time will be coming back in."

Tommy O'Donnell's dislocated hip has already ruled the Munster flanker out of the World Cup reckoning, and perhaps alleviated the need for another flanker to leave Ireland's squad this week.

"I haven't actually been talking to Tommy myself, but it's a massive blow," said Murphy. "He had a great performance at the weekend and definitely was right up there fighting for a place in the squad. For anyone at this stage, after putting in a really gruelling five weeks of training, it's tough for him to miss out."

Murphy confirmed Ireland would not add a back-row replacement in the wake of the nasty injury O'Donnell suffered in Cardiff last weekend.

"There's probably no need in that position," said Murphy, when asked if Ireland would boost resources. "Obviously it's one of those positions that we have a lot of really talented players, so it does open up opportunities for other guys.

"I don't think we need to look at the squad at the moment."

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