O'Connell named captain of Ireland's RWC 2015 training squad

Munster legend Paul O'Connell is set to lead Ireland in his last Rugby World Cup after being named as captain of Joe Schmidt's 45-man training squad.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named two uncapped players in his 45-man training squad, which will commence Rugby World Cup preparations at the end of this month and will play in four Test matches across August and September.

Leinster duo Jack Conan and Tadhg Furlong have been called up in the forwards, but provincial team-mate, Rhys Ruddock misses out after fracturing his arm playing for Emerging Ireland against Uruguay in the Tbilisi Cup last week. Leinster back Noel Reid joins them in the squad after impressing in Georgia.

Cap centurion O'Connell will be appearing in his fourth and last Rugby World Cup after confirming earlier this year that he would retire from international rugby after the tournament, as he prepares to start a new chapter in his stellar career at French giants Toulon.

"The squad selection has been a long process with some very tight decisions. Some injured players who are getting close to full fitness have been included, while others have missed out due to prolonged absence or lack of opportunity to demonstrate their full Test match readiness," said Schmidt.

Ireland's schedule of Rugby World Cup warm-up matches will see them play Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, 8 August before hosting Scotland a week later at the Aviva Stadium.

On Saturday, 29 August, Wales come to the Aviva Stadium with the final game taking place at Twickenham against England on Saturday, 5 September. 

Ireland RWC 2015 training squad:

Backs (22): Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster), Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster),Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing 92), Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)

Forwards (23): Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Michael Bent (Dublin University/Leinster), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *, Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) *, Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster), Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster), David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster), Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster) (capt), Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster), Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster)

*Denotes uncapped player