Thursday, August 25, 2016

Leinster team for Bath, the Rugby Championship and the normal bits and bobs!

 Rob Kearney

This Friday is Leinster's last warm up match, against Bath at Donnybrook. I'll be going along, it's a great little stadium and you can get right up close to the action. It seems the news of Mike Ford's imminent arrival was a bit premature, but to know they are after someone of his stature is at least encouraging. Nice to see Rob Kearney and Cian Healy back and it'll be interesting to get a look at Jamison Gibson Park. Also possibly a fully recovered Josh van der Flier from the bench.

Leinster XV:        15. Rob Kearney    14. Garry Ringrose    13. Rory O'Loughlin    12. Noel Reid    11. Adam Byrne    10. Joey Carbery    9. Jamison Gibson Park    1. Cian Healy    2. James Tracy    3. Michael Bent    4. Ross Molony CAPTAIN     5. Mike McCarthy    6. Josh Murphy    7. Dan Leavy    8. Peadar Timmins        Replacements From:         Bryan Byrne    Andrew Porter    Jeremy Loughman    Hayden Triggs    Dominic Ryan    Nick McCarthy    Cathal Marsh    Zane Kirchner    Sean McNulty    Peter Dooley    Ian Nagle    Josh van der Flier    Charlie Rock    Ross Byrne    Tom Daly    Barry Daly

It sounds like great evening will be had at the Kingspan Stadium tomorrow night, a warm up of Ulster A v Canada A, then Ulster V Northampton Saints. And Tommy Bowe is poised to return too.

Munster have recruited Jaco Taute as a stop gap for the injured Saili - he's a quality player, although he's suffered with injuries. When he was good, he was brilliant, let's hope they see that from him.

No news on Schmidt watch, although the balance of conjecture seems to be leaning towards him resigning until 2019.

So we also have the Rugby Championship this week, with the Aussies dragging their sorry arses to Wellington to be filleted again by the All blacks. The ABs have 21 year old Anton Lienert-Brown debuting at center, and they are one hooker injury away from a problem. However, apart from overconfidence they have nothing to fear. The Wallabies have Cooper and and Genia as the half backs, neither of whom has shown a shred of form since they were together at the Reds about 5 years ago. I'd hoof them both out and put Foley and Phipps in there in a heartbeat. Maybe Chieka's hand has been forced by last week's injuries.

South Africa travel to Argentina with a nearly unchanged team. They have the team to beat Argentina, but they had better hope that the faith shown (rightly) in Elton Jantjies pays off soon. Both teams look good going forward, but hesitant in defense, and it could be a high scoring affair. Argentina should win with home advantage.

27 Aug 2016
New Zealand vs Australia 07:35
Argentina vs South Africa 19:40

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