Friday, August 28, 2015

Ireland V Wales is the BIG one, and could be pretty close!

   Luke Fitzgerald
 Luke Fitzgerald

 The BIG one this this weekend is Ireland v Wales. The Welsh have come with their  A list players, so the backline is huge – North, Cuthbert and Roberts must weigh more than a double decker bus!  Ireland, meanwhile are still tinkering a bit, there are first starts for Sexton, Murray and O’Connell, but Earls, Dave Kearney and Fitzgerald are all on the fringes, and fairly small too, so defence is going to be a challenge! Everyone seems to be talking up an Irish win, but I reckon this is going to be really really close – and who knows what role ring rustiness may play?  Jordi Murphy has another opportunity to shine – he’s played a blinder so far, and I’m wondering if this is shaping up to be the best loose trio combination.

For the provinces, Leinster take on Moseley, with Isa starting, and Bowe and Trimble start for Ulster. Both of them must have nailed on spots in the Irish squad, and team.

We also have Scotland taking on Italy where the Scots should build on last week, and probably the most entertaining match of the weekend will be the Barbarians v Samoa.  Three matches on a Saturday afternoon though, nearly all at the same time!

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Luke Fitzgerald, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Nathan White, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Sean O'Brien, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Felix Jones

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 James King, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Hallam Amos

Fri 28th Aug 15
Leinster v Moseley Donnybrook 19:30
Edinburgh v Ulster Goldenacre 18:30

Test Matches
Saturday, August 29
Japan vs Uruguay    09:00
Ireland vs Wales    13:30
Scotland vs Italy    14:15
Barbarians v Samoa    15:00

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