THERE ARE SELECTION conundrums in many places for Joe Schmidt in the Ireland squad as he looks towards eventually naming his 31-man group for the World Cup by the 31 August deadline.
The back three features strength in depth, there are decisions to be made in the locking department, while the choice of bringing five or six props is a demanding one to make.
Isaac Boss played in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
At scrum-half, Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan look nailed on to travel, but tomorrow’s warm-up clash against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium (KO 17.00) provides Isaac Boss with an opportunity to strengthen his status as third in line.
Clearly, the 35-year-old has greater ambitions than just being part of the squad at the World Cup, but seeing Kieran Marmion spark off the bench last weekend in Cardiff reminded Boss of the competition he faces.
Marmion has been released to Connacht for this evening’s friendly with Castres in France, though he remains part of the Ireland squad.
“He got the first crack of the whip last week and I thought he did really well when he came on,” said Boss of Marmion’s outing against Wales. “He’s progressed and in a lot of cases, he’s probably been the form nine.
“We’re all competing and if you go back four years, Conor came from nowhere and played almost the whole World Cup. I’ve been around long enough to know that could happen quite easily again.”