Andrew Trimble
Andrew Trimble is the headline absentee from the Ireland squad Getty Images

Ireland winger Andrew Trimble is the highest profile omission from Joe Schmidt's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup. The Ulster man made his first appearance after 14 months out injured against Wales but has been unable to hold on to his place.

Hooker Cian Healy is included just three months after undergoing neck surgery and could feature against England in the final World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham on 5 September. Schmidt has selected just two scrum-halves – in the form of Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan – with Ian Madigan as back-up.

Inexperienced front-row duo Nathan White and Tadhg Furlong, as well as Jack McGrath, are selected ahead of injury-stricken Marty Moore and Michael Bent. Dave Kilcoyne also misses out in the only other forward selection dilemma.

Follow the 16-10 defeat to Wales, successive Six Nations champions Ireland are set to start the tournament ranked number four in the world. Schmidt's side begin their campaign against Canada on 19 September before facing Romania, Italy and France in pool D.

"The players have worked incredibly hard over the past two months," the coach said. "Sunday was a difficult and very long day for the coaching team and an anxious one for many players.

"There were some very tight decisions, particularly in the back three. It was also a challenge to make sure that key positions were covered as much as a squad of 31 players allows.

"A number of players were very unlucky to miss selection. We know from observing past world cups that it's important for us to keep track of their performances because some of them are likely to be involved in the tournament."

Ireland's 31-man squad Rugby World Cup squad

Backs: Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan, Conor Murray, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton, Simon Zebo.

Forwards: Rory Best, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Sean O'Brien, Paul O'Connell, Peter O'Mahony, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Nathan White.