Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lots of grumbling and giving out about the Ireland team

These are the squads for Ireland and the Wolfhounds ahead of the Wolfhounds match. (clears throat and gets ready to give out). Now I know Leo Cullen is out injured, and James Coughlan is in for him – we all knew he was injured when they included him anyway?   Also, six out of the Wolfhounds and the additional players have the opportunity to put their hand up for the senior squad.

My beef (prime Irish beef of course) is with the world cup over, we should now be focusing on form and younger players, and it looks likewe have several passengers in the squad of 24. Paddy Wallace is the biggest culprit, having neither form nor age on his side. As a good Leinsterman, it pains me to say it, but D’Arcy’s form has been moderate to say the least, and he’s in the twilight of his career. Jennings is another player who I’d love to have available for Leinster for the next few years, but I don’t see him as Ireland material. DOC has been a brilliant servant for Ireland, but if he’s on the bench at Munster now, why is he going straight into the senior squad? And I really think Earls is lucky to be there, he’s been injured, and is still getting back to form.  So out of 24 players we’ve already got 5 people who are pretty lucky to be there.

Then looking at the Wolfhounds, I’m going to look totally anti Connacht here, and I’m not, but why have we got players like Duffy, McCarthy and John Muldoon in there, even Tomas O’Leary. Are they ever going to use the opportunity to step up to the senior squad? Where’s Paul Marshall, where’s Damian Browne, where was James Coughlan in the first place? Why is Carr in limbo?

We’d be better off proactively getting younger players and players with better form into the team than playing it safe, and only making injury enforced changes. I can see a moderate 6 Nations this year, and a worse one next year with the current strategy. I could see us starting with a 15 that’s going to run out of steam with 20 minutes to go, with no game breakers on the bench.  We’ve got three teams in the HC cup quarters, but it looks suspiciously like a pigs ear could be made out of a silk purse.

Do you think, as part of the bail-out deal for Ireland, along with all our financial plans for the country, our team sheet gets discussed in Paris and London before we see it? ‘Vraiment, D’Arcy et 'class'’ ‘Wallace has always been a top chap’

This would be my Ireland team:

15 Kearney 14 Trimble 13 Bowe 12 McFadden 11 Fitzgerald 10 Sexton 9 Reddan 8 Heaslip 7 O’Brien 6 Ferris 5 O’Connell 4 Ryan 3 Ross 2 Best 1 Healy

Bench: Cronin Murray O’Gara Loughney Tuohy Hagan Coughlan  Earls

Good luck to the Wolfhounds anyway, I hope they beat the Saxons.

Ireland training squad for Six Nations Rory Best, Tommy Bowe, Tom Court, Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen, Gordon D'Arcy, Keith Earls, Stephen Ferris, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings, Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Conor Murray, Sean O'Brien, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Ronan O'Gara, Eoin Reddan, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace.
Additional Players Fionn Carr, Craig Gilroy, Jack McGrath, Ian Nagle, Peter O'Mahony, Tiernan O'Halloran.
Ireland Wolfhounds Stephen Archer, Isaac Boss, Gavin Duffy, Chris Henry, Denis Hurley, David Kearney, Ian Keatley, Ronan Loughney, Ian Madigan, Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin, John Muldoon, Tomas O'Leary, Eoin O'Malley, Rhys Ruddock, Mike Sherry, Nevin Spence, Devin Toner, Dan Tuohy, Damien Varley, Brett Wilkinson, Simon Zebo


  1. It does seem like Ireland are suffering from Johnson era England selection, relying on past form and not recognizing new talent.

  2. A policy of looking at new players hasn't hurt Wales for instance

  3. Couldn't agree more. What's more annoying is that the IRFU are on one hand making such a conservative selection for the senior squad, comprising of so many players who won't be around for the 2015 World Cup while on the other hand insisting on interfering with the provinces in order to bring younger players through. Practice what you preach and all that.

  4. Agree with a lot of what you say , but you back line in your team selection is very wrong!(forwards Bang on!) Firstly Fitzgerald injured since Christmas, so can't be picked! Your centre partnership is untested, the reason D'Arcy is in the squad and more than likely the team is that no team can afford to have two international novice centres in the six nations, Kidney would be slated by public and press and if it were to collapse it would be the end for him!! On the Paddy Wallace point, I have to agree it like he has pact with devil that Wallace must be in every squad for him to keep his job!!!

    1. Fair enough on Fizgerald, and whatever I said about Earls, he's a natural winger so he'd be in. I think our centre partnerships are really stale, we have good wings but not enough centres, and Bowe is 6'3" very talented, and hardly sees the ball sometimes. Obviously not my neck on the block. Wallace must have the negatives for the pics of Kidney in lingerie!

  5. Younger players need the opportunity to make their mark - like Zebo did with Howlett being out - but why wait for someone to get injured?

  6. Thanks for every other informative web site. Where else may just I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I've a project that I'm simply now running on, and I've been on the look out for such info.
    LumaPro 3CRE1 LED Lamp, Warm White, JDR, 120 Volt