Andy Farrell believes energy in depth will probably be key to Ireland’s World Cup hopes

Andy Farrell insists squad depth will probably be key to Ireland attaining their dream of World Cup glory after handing alternatives to a variety of fringe gamers for Saturday’s warm-up conflict with Italy.

Munster’s Jack Crowley has been chosen at fly-half within the absence of the suspended Johnny Sexton, with uncapped trio Ciaran Frawley, Tom Stewart and Calvin Nash among the many replacements.

Just three gamers – centre Robbie Henshaw and back-rowers Caelan Doris and Ryan Baird – have been retained from the XV which started Ireland’s Grand Slam-clinching win over England again in March.

Ulster lock Iain Henderson will captain the aspect, lining up within the second row alongside Joe McCarthy, who will make his first worldwide begin, whereas wing Jacob Stockdale will play at Test stage for the primary time in two years.

Head coach Farrell, who is because of reduce his 42-man squad all the way down to a last 33 following additional fixtures in opposition to England and Samoa, needs a full complement of gamers match and firing transferring in direction of the event in France however dismissed the notion he’s experimenting.

“We’re at a stage where we’re all gagging for a game,” he mentioned.

“And you are judging constantly how preparation’s going and trying to balance that out with a side that’s got the experience and youth.

“I’m 100 per cent sure there are some individuals that will take the field saying to themselves that ‘this a big chance and big opportunity for me’.

“You’ve got to surround those people with good enough experienced players as well to be able to judge them properly, so we’re looking forward to that.

“I wouldn’t say we’re experimenting.

“You win World Cups because of the strength of your squad so we’re trying to find out about people that have done so well to get picked in the initial 42 and now they’ve got the opportunity to represent the group.

“They know the expectation of how we want to play and what’s acceptable and what’s not.”

Sexton’s three-match ban has opened the door for rookie quantity 10s Crowley, Frawley and Ross Byrne to achieve some much-needed Test expertise throughout the subsequent month.

O’Brien, Earls, Henshaw, McCloskey, Stockdale, Crowley, Casey; Kilcoyne, Herring, O’Toole, Henderson, McCarthy, Baird, Doris, Conan.

In-form Crowley is the primary to be handed a possibility to impress, having starred throughout his province’s United Rugby Championship success on the finish of final season.

“He has been excellent but how that transfers into a performance is different,” Farrell mentioned of Crowley.

“He has been going great. I have seen his confidence grow, obviously from what happened with Munster, being able to help navigate his team through those difficult periods and get some success.

“The minute that selection comes, it’s a different week as far as managing the team and being the main general as far as Jack is concerned.

“We have been keeping a close eye on that and he has been excellent so far.”

Farrell was talking publicly for the primary time since Sexton, who has not performed for the reason that Guinness Six Nations as a result of damage, was hit with a three-match ban for misconduct.

“He’s been all systems go, right from the start,” the Englishman mentioned of his 38-year-old skipper’s performances in coaching.

“He’s not missed a session, he’s not dropped out of anything. If there was a game two or three weeks ago, he was able to play, no doubt.

“Obviously he’s disappointed not to be able to play in these games but he’s in great form.”

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