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Ireland vs Russia...! - Leo "pretty boy" Cullen to skipper

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Post by maestegmafia Fri 23 Sep - 5:51

Ten changes

Leo Cullen to become only the third Irishman to skipper his country at the RWC...!

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,16024_7194960,00.html


Team

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Leo Cullen (c), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Mike Ross, 18 Denis Leamy, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Geordan Murphy.


Date: Sunday, September 25
Kick-off: 18:00 (06:00 GMT)
Venue: Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)


Last edited by maestegmafia on Fri 23 Sep - 8:26; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 7:16

That's a really strong team.
Delighted Healsip and O'Brien are still playing, both need more game time.

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Post by Notch Fri 23 Sep - 7:19

If Shane Jennings gets off the bench that means all of the original 30-man party will have seen some game time. At the time of kick-off, if there are no injury withdrawls, Ireland will have used 29 players. Only Shane Jennings and injury replacement Damien Varley would have seen no gametime.
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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 23 Sep - 7:23

Glad to see rotation with some people in need of game time kept on the pitch. Well played mr kidney. Smile

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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 7:26

ROG-Wallace-Earls

This is a new combination right?

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Post by Rava Fri 23 Sep - 8:04

Notch, Shane Jennings played in the opening game against the USA.
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Post by Notch Fri 23 Sep - 8:06

Really? Well then- all 30 players have now been used.
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Post by Rava Fri 23 Sep - 8:10

This team should do a number on Russia. There are a few tries in that back line.

Mick I can't remember Wallace and Earls at center before, so that's an interesting combination. I think giving SOB more time at 7 is also a good move.

I'm not as excited as I was last week but I eagerly await this one.
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Post by Rava Fri 23 Sep - 8:14

Notch wrote:Really? Well then- all 30 players have now been used.

It's hard to tell but I detected a note of sarcasm in the "Really". I was merely advising you that he had played therefore your earlier synopsis was incorrect.
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Post by MMC Fri 23 Sep - 8:17

Rava wrote:This team should do a number on Russia. There are a few tries in that back line.

Mick I can't remember Wallace and Earls at center before, so that's an interesting combination. I think giving SOB more time at 7 is also a good move.

I'm not as excited as I was last week but I eagerly await this one.

Didn't they play together in Bordeaux?

I think that was with Sexton at 10 though so the 10-12-13 combo is new from that regard. I think it'll work extremely well against Russia.

Keith Earls has weaknesses to his game but one thing he's very good at is exploiting an unorganised defence, no matter what position he plays. Russia were very loose in the first half against Italy and were punished for it. I expect to see Earls making huge inroads from centre field and looking to run from deep. If Trimble and McFadden anticipate this they can get a few tries each as a result of Earls' endeavour - very similar to Howlett and Jones against Brive in the Amlin last season.

p.s. OP, I wonder would it be best to change the title (catchy as it is Wink ) to reflect that this is the discussion thread for Ireland v Russia? Just so people see it straight away when they land on the International home page.
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Post by Notch Fri 23 Sep - 8:18

The problem with internet forums is people read all sorts of crazy things into perfectly innocent statements!

I was genuinely unaware he was on the pitch against the USA thumbsup
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Post by Rava Fri 23 Sep - 8:21

MMC both the wingers picked like to follow the ball so I expect them to be on the end of a few moves. I think Earls should do OK but I still have reservations about him as a centre. Hope he sets up loads of tries for Trimble though Wink
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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 8:25

Rav, I think it’s more likely to be the other way around. Trimble is always a hard worker and Earls always has a knack for being on the end of good moves.

Would a hat trick for O’Brien be out of the question. I’m just thinking about him playing against the likes of Saracens and Racing last year, any gap and he’s going to burst through defenses. Isaac Boss giving him the ball flat on the gainline just the way he likes it too. Hope we put a ton on the scoreboard…

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Post by clivemcl Fri 23 Sep - 8:40

I'm off to put Trimble in my fantasy team Run

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Post by Rava Fri 23 Sep - 8:41

There will be loads of opportunities for SOB Mick. A hat trick wouldn't be out of the question. I wouldn't want people to become individualistic though and forget about the team ethic.
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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 8:45

Rava wrote:There will be loads of opportunities for SOB Mick. A hat trick wouldn't be out of the question. I wouldn't want people to become individualistic though and forget about the team ethic.

You’re dead right Rav, I don’t think he’s that type of player anyway. I’m just hungover and exaggerating.

Keeping Healy in the team and starting 5 lineout jumpers. We’re going to kill these lads at the set piece.

I’m a little nervous about Healy and Ross potentially both being on the pitch at the same time, is Court injured or something?

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Post by clivemcl Fri 23 Sep - 8:46

ROG getting us confused about his retirement and POC warning us all we better be up on sunday morning!

Go to podcasts, and gift grub.

http://media.todayfm.com/live_stream/popup

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Post by Tayto Fri 23 Sep - 9:08

Happy days,

Glad to see all players getting a run out. OK
I would have preferred to see McFadden in the centre though.

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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 9:13

Tayto wrote:Happy days,

Glad to see all players getting a run out. OK
I would have preferred to see McFadden in the centre though.

Yeah, i would have switched McFadden with Earls myself...

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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 9:25

I'm guessing we're planning to kick the leather off the ball.

ROG at 10 and bringing Donnacha Ryan into the backrow.
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Post by Notch Fri 23 Sep - 9:27

It was always between McFadden and Fitzgerald for the last wing spot in the squad.

Long-term future for McFadden is in the centre but right now he's behind O'Driscoll, D'Arcy and Wallace and it seems Earls and Sexton are up there ahead of him as well.

I'm quite pleased Earls is at 13 instead, because Earls is a much more experienced player and he'll be more involved in the game at 13. The other side of that is if Earls is to nail down a wing spot thats where he should play.

Early in the week all the talk was of a Trimble, Bowe and Kearney back three for this one but then Bowe picked up a calf strain so McFadden comes in late- in that case it causes more disruption for Earls to move back when he's been training at 13.
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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 23 Sep - 9:31

Mickado wrote:
Tayto wrote:Happy days,

Glad to see all players getting a run out. OK
I would have preferred to see McFadden in the centre though.

Yeah, i would have switched McFadden with Earls myself...

Yeah I agree, McFadden is a centre who plays wing and Earls is a back 3 player who plays centre.

I guess DK want to cover all his bases. If BOD is injured Earls will go to 13 I'd say so he is covering himself there by giving earls more game time there just incase.

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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 9:33

Plus Earls and McFadden can swap around too.
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Post by rodders Fri 23 Sep - 9:38

Hmm strong side on paper but there's too many needless changes for me and we run the risk of losing the momentum we were starting to build.

I don't understand why Boss is starting with ROG. That partnership is not going to feature again. Why not start Murray or Reddan with ROG and bring Boss and Sexton off the bench.

I know McFadden is a late replacement for Bowe but why not leave Earls were he is and stick McFadden at 13? Unless it's because there are doubts about BOD for the coming games and Kidney doesn't trust McFadden in the centre. However if McFadden isn't seen as a center then why did Kidney bring him because he isn't a better winger than Fitzgerald?

Why start Ryan ahead of Leamy at 6?

Strange decisions but hopefully we can kick on from the Australia game and do a number on Russia. If we struggle then it will give Italy even more belief that they can turn us over.

The pack need to lay down a marker and we can't get too fixated on scoring tries and getting all cavalier with the ball. I want to see us blow these guys away at the set piece and breakdown and hopefully the tries will come.
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Post by Sin é Fri 23 Sep - 9:39

Nice for Boss to be starting - he is from Rokoroa which is about 30k from Rotorua. I suspect the locals won't go all quade cooper on him Smile


Earls is BOD's backup and considering BOD is flying on one wing, its important that he gets playing in such a key position.
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Post by MBTGOG Fri 23 Sep - 9:51

What's that bit about Cullen being only the third Irish captain at the World Cup? Surely they mean second row captain.


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Post by rodders Fri 23 Sep - 9:57

Maybe they mean this RWC? BOD, POC and Cullen?
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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 10:03

MBTGOG wrote:What's that bit about Cullen being only the third Irish captain at the World Cup? Surely they mean second row captain.


Cullen will become the third Irishman to be skipper in his tournament debut after Donal Lenihan in 1987 and Dion O'Cuinneagain in 1999.


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Post by MBTGOG Fri 23 Sep - 10:12

Cheers. Completely missed the debut part. Interesting they were all locks.


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Post by Rava Fri 23 Sep - 10:13

Sin é wrote:Nice for Boss to be starting - he is from Rokoroa which is about 30k from Rotorua. I suspect the locals won't go all quade cooper on him Smile


Earls is BOD's backup and considering BOD is flying on one wing, its important that he gets playing in such a key position.

Doesn't often happen but agree 100% Sin Very Happy
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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 23 Sep - 10:26

Anyone know how the Aussie game is going?

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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 10:28

22 - 5 at half time Pete.

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Post by Tayto Fri 23 Sep - 10:30

22-5 up at half time.
4 tries scored against a second string usa side.

To be honest they look very average.

Out in the quarters me thinks.

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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 10:32

MBTGOG wrote:Cheers. Completely missed the debut part. Interesting they were all locks.




We've tended to produce some really top locks. Lenihan, McBride, Davidson, Galwey, O'Kelly, O'Connell, O'Callaghan have all been excellent.

I think it may dry up for a while in that area though.
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Post by rodders Fri 23 Sep - 10:36

Add Paddy Johns to the list Stag. It's strange that the well has run so dry on that front.

Are Irish people shrinking? Everyone seems to be a backrower or winger these days.
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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 23 Sep - 10:39

I noticed that, I think it's to do with it's utility nature of the positions like that.

I play for trinity and we got a whole load of lads during fresher's week the some of whom hadn't played before, big guys who hadn't played before were shifted to backrow and small guys in the same boat shifted to wing.

It's as if they are considered to be 'the simplest' positions

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 23 Sep - 10:39

PS; thanks for the update lads

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Post by MBTGOG Fri 23 Sep - 10:42

Don't worry lads. I don't think it will as big a problem as some think it will be. It is always going to be tough measuring up after O'Connell who will probably go down as one of if not the best lock we've ever had.


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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 10:44

I suppose it was only 3 years ago that the prop situation was dismal. Now Hagan and Archer have emerged as possible candidates in the future while Healy and McAllister have the other. We'll probably get some more time out of Court and Ross too.
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Post by rodders Fri 23 Sep - 10:45

pete (buachaill on eirne) wrote:I noticed that, I think it's to do with it's utility nature of the positions like that.

I play for trinity and we got a whole load of lads during fresher's week the some of whom hadn't played before, big guys who hadn't played before were shifted to backrow and small guys in the same boat shifted to wing.

It's as if they are considered to be 'the simplest' positions

I'm guessing another problem is that a lot of kids who play 2nd row at school boy level do so because they are big and tall for their age but then when they get older they aren't big enough for senior level.

We had some cracking 2nd rows at school but most of them ended up under 6'4.

Maybe we should be doing what they do in rugby league and position junior players based on their predicted size rather than their actual size?
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Post by ME-109 Fri 23 Sep - 10:55

Why do people want McFadden who plays most of his rugby as an IC to play in the OC position... Doh Earls is a better OC and his strike rate is higher than others considered for that position....

Team looks like it should do the job...maybe Tony Buckley will look good against an amateur front row....but then again maybe not.

Heaslip needs a good game...

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 23 Sep - 10:56

Didn't know they did that in League.
Maybe this route 66 thing will come up with a few gems. Fingers crossed

Looking forward to seeing McFadden again up against that Blackrock winger.
Anyone know if any of the injuries are bad or just minor ones and will be fine for Italy

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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 10:59

DOD - I'm fairly sure the Russian league is professional rather than amatuer. Its called the Professional Rugby League anyway.
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Post by rodders Fri 23 Sep - 10:59

Actually McFadden seems to play most of his rugby on the wing, much like Earls.

I'd rather see Earls than McFadden because he is more experienced at this level but if Earls is 1st choice winger then I don't see the logic in shunting him around the backline.

I'm sure McFadden could do a job against Russia and it would be good experience for him. Otherwise I don't see the point of bringing him instead of a proven international winger in Fitzgerald.
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Post by MBTGOG Fri 23 Sep - 11:01

Artemyev, the former Blackrock school boy, is actually playing full back.


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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 11:03

Before last season McFadden hadn’t played for Leinster on the wing at all, and he was only forced into it by the injury of Fitzgerald. He played as much at 13 as he did at 12 before that. I remember him scoring a quality try against Ulster from outside center.

However, you’ve all convinced me that Earls at 13 is a better option now because he will be playing there if O’Driscoll isn’t.

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Post by rodders Fri 23 Sep - 11:06

pete (buachaill on eirne) wrote:Didn't know they did that in League.
Maybe this route 66 thing will come up with a few gems. Fingers crossed

Yeah the super league clubs do it with the U-12's, U-14's and U-16's (I think). The have calculations to try and predict what the kids adult size will be based on certain variable like bone density (again I think) then try and stream them into positions based on that.

For example a kid may be big but the physologists may predict that he'll be small as an adult and recommend the club to play him as a scrum half or stand off rather than say as lose-forward even if thats his position at the time.

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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 11:24

I actually struggle to remember McFadden at 12.
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Post by Mickado Fri 23 Sep - 11:33

red_stag wrote:I actually struggle to remember McFadden at 12.

Magners League final?

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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Sep - 11:40

Oh yea he was forgot that. However most of the time he seems to be on the wing or centre.

Anyone else seeing more and more of our young backs being jack of all trades, master of none. Hoping that we don't see too much of it.
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