Decision time for Andy Farrell

Diarmuid Barron has been called up to the Irish squad as cover for this weekend’s fixture. Photo: Paul Devlin.

FIVE players will this weekend be trimmed off the current Ireland squad of 38 for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

The chosen 33 will be announced by coach Andy Farrell on Monday (August 28), 48 hours after the final warm-up fixture with Samoa at Stade Jean-Dauger in Bayonne, France (7.45pm Irish time).

Ireland have been based all this week in nearby Biarritz, as Garryowen hooker Diarmuid Barron has been called in as cover for the fixture.

Limerick’s current most famous sporting son, Keith Earls, is bang in contention to book a fourth World Cup adventure.

Earls marked his 100th cap with a spectacular somersault try in the comfortable defeat of England at an electrified Aviva Stadium.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The occasion was a “special, special” moment in the stellar career of Earls, who will reach the age of 36 during his hopeful appearance at the World Cup.

He revealed that his wife Edel had put together a 10-minute video which was played a couple of days out from Saturday’s landmark fixture. Contributions were made by Declan Kidney, Joe Schmidt, Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll, Peter O’Mahony, Simon Zebo, Johnny Sexton, and others.

“Yeah, I was emotional,” admitted Earls. “It was emotional, the hardest thing I’ve done ever on Thursday trying to keep the tears out of my eyes around all the lads but I think I managed to do it. So it was grand.”

In the case of Earls and the possibility of World Cup Number IV, it appears his biggest challenge will be from Jacob Stockdale.

Also looking for a trip to France are Garryowen pair Conor Murray and Jeremy Loughman, injury concern Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemian), and Shannon’s Craig Casey.