David Rogers/Getty Images
Ireland, excluding Donnacha Ryan, will bring five natural back rows. This is a huge strength for Ireland.
Stephen Ferris - Starter
If he is fit, he has to start. He is the best Blindside Flanker in Europe and is in the conversation for best in the world. He has been plagued by injury but, when playing, is a tackling machine.
He is an outrageous defender, great at the clear out, ferocious at the breakdown and has good ball skills. He will do the dirty work for his back row colleagues and allow their more natural ball carrying abilities to shine. He is a great player.
Sean O' Brien - Starter
With Ferris doing the dirty work at Blindside, O'Brien will be free at Openside to do what he does best. He is a rampaging bull with the ball in his hands.
He has taken Europe by storm with his free-wheeling ways as he has ran over every defense in the Heineken Cup. He will be a revelation at the World Cup to any Southern Hemisphere team who does not know him. He is a fantastic prospect.
Jamie Heaslip - Starter
Ireland's No. 8 is another truly brilliant young player in this exciting back row. He is extremely strong, very quick, sees gaps like a center, and defends relentlessly.
He is more often than not Man-of-the-Match in any game he plays. He has the pedigree to emerge in this World Cup as the premier 8 in world rugby.
David Wallace - Replacement
He can count himself as highly unfortunate that he will not start. He is another world class player and has more experience than any of the starters, but he is a victim of his own strength. He is a ball carrier who has slowed down some in the last few years.
Although he is still an awesome player, he no longer has the pace or physicality to match O'Brien and he is not as gifted at the grunt work as Ferris.
He will be an excellent man to bring on with 20 minutes to go, however, as in that shorter period he could make an immense impact. Don't be in any doubt; he is still an elite flanker.
Denis Leamy - Replacement
He will face stiff competition for this final jersey but he is versatile enough to either play at 8 or as a flanker. This gives him an advantage over Kevin McLaughlin who, although he is a top notch flanker, has not got the same adaptability as Leamy.
This is possibly the single most uncertain of all the jerseys, however. I would expect this position to be one that the warm-up games will go a long way to deciding.
Kevin McLaughlin - Unlucky not to go