We have now been compiling Depth Charts of Irish Rugby players since just before the selection of the World Cup Squad in 2011. The past decade has seen some of the greatest days for the national team and as we approach a new year, there are some who wonder will we ever see the like again.
The 2020-21 Depth Chart has been compiled more than 20 months after the previous assessment in February 2019, just 6 months before Joe Schmidt named his 2019 World Cup Squad.
As we consider this may be a period of considerable change, we have slightly altered the format and set out the rankings as three different 30-man Squads - Alpha, Delta & Epsilon and also Squad X - more of which below
Criteria For 2020-21 Ranking Chart
The criteria for the 2020-21 rankings are the same as those previously used, viz:
1. Players may only be included once on the list
2. All players listed in positions in which they have played.
3. Players are listed at the highest level possible in a suitable position.
4. Listing is based on match (i.e. not training) performances from 1st January 2020 up till 6th December 2020.
5. Players listed as injured have been announced as "long-term" injuries by their Provinces.
Some players have been excluded as follows:
Not Eligible (9)
Ireland XV Depth Chart - 7 December 2020
Squad Alpha - A & B Squad Delta C & D 15. H. Keenan Jimmy O'Brien* S Daly* M Lowry* 14. K Earls A Conway D Kearney C Nash* 13. G Ringrose C Farrell R O'Loughlin T Farrell* 12. R Henshaw B Aki S McCloskey C Frawley* 11. J Lowe J Stockdale J Larmour C Kelleher* 10. J Sexton J Carty B Burns R Byrne 9. K Marmion C Murray J G Park J Cooney 8. C Doris P Boyle* G Coombes* J Conan 7. P O'Mahony JVd Flyer W Connors Jaryd Butler* 6. CJ Stander R Ruddock D Leavy Josh Murphy* 5. Jas Ryan D. Toner T Beirne T Ahern* 4. I Henderson Q Roux U Dillane G Thornbury* 3. T Furlong A Porter J Ryan F Bealham 2. R Kelleher R Herring D Heffernan J Treacy 1. C Healy D Kilcoyne E O'Sullivan P Dooley*
* Uncapped player
Squad Epsilon E & F 15. M. Haley T O'Halloran 14. C. Gilroy R Baloucombe* 13. L Marshall J Hume* 12. Tom O'Brien* Tom Daly* 11. D Sweetnam A Woottam* 10. H Byrne* B Healy* 9. C Blade* L McGrath 8. J O'Donoghue M Deegan 7. S Penny* S Reidy 6. J O'Sullivan* Jordi Murphy 5. U Dillane J Dunne* 4. F Wycherly* K Treadwell 3. T O'Toole* M Bent 2. KO'Byrne* D Sheehan* 1. Ed Byrne J McGrath
* Uncapped player
On this occasion, rather than continue the rankings down to eight teams as previously, we have decided to outline rankings for players born after 1st January 1996, the next generation. We have outlined them as Squad X - 30 players whom we consider will figure at National level in the coming seasons:
Squad X Depth Chart - 7 December 2020
Squad X 15. H Keenan Jimmy O'Brien 14. J Larmour R Baloucombe 13. Tommy O'Brien S French 12. C Frawley J Hume 11. S Daly Calvin Nash 10. H Byrne B Healy 9. C Casey C Reilly 8. C Doris G Coombes 7. S Penny W Connors 6. P Boyle R Baird 5. Jas Ryan T Ahern 4. F Wycherly J Dunne 3. T O'Toole T Clarkson 2. R Kelleher D Sheehan 1. A Porter J Wyncherly