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The Ireland Squad Announcement Thread

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Post by Notch Wed 20 Jan 2016, 12:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

Following on from the discussion on the 'Ireland 2016 Squad' thread which can be found here.

Ireland squad has been announced. It contains four uncapped players- Stuart McCloskey, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander. However there is no room for Garry Ringrose. Mike Ross, Cian Healy and Chris Henry have all been omitted due to injury but may feature later as they return to fitness in their provincial set-ups.

Ireland Squad RBS 6 Nations 2016 Rounds 1 & 2

Forwards (19)


Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)*
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) Vice Captain
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
CJ Stander (Munster)*
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)*
Nathan White (Connacht)

Backs (16)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
Stuart McCloskey (McCloskey/Ulster)*
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

*Denotes uncapped player


Last edited by Notch on Wed 20 Jan 2016, 2:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 10:57 am

RubyGuby wrote:Either way Billy I think you'll get some Payne in this 6 Nations probably in the first game - Regards to Gibson - thumbsup

Will send Cooky your regards, he will like that. Depends on what team and game plan Ireland choose against you guys. Choose the same game plan then Wales will win, use a game plan designed to get around your midfield (Jackson/Mcloskey/Marshall) and Ireland will win at a canter.
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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:16 am

Regardless of what we want to happen, if I had to guess what will actually happen I would say Schmidt will stick with the same midfield pairing. It seems that he believes in slowly introducing players. Henshaw was understudy to BOD for a year before his first cap, and even then he was given Payne after BOD retired as a kind of second mentor. I think that's worked well and helped Henshaw slip in without much pressure on his shoulders.

I don't think its Schmidts style to throw in an untested player in a massive first game like this unless they are a bit older and more experienced than the usual age profile of an Irish debutant, like Payne or Stander. I think McCloskey will have to be patient.
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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:21 am

And that there will be a mistake. Schmidt needs to give faith in the young boys and show them that their development at club level has its rewards. Sure International level is a step up but at some stage, every player has to make their debut. Get them in their now while they are hungry and want to prove themselves.

Payne may have had age on his side but that was it before he was thrown in, he was unproven at International level as well. Age to me means nothing, ability means all. Give the boys a shot and support them even if they have a bad game.
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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:30 am

Age means nothing, but the mental skills and maturity to handle a big occasion and perform as well as you possibly can mean everything.

I've no doubt that if there's a young player with an 'old head on young shoulders' they'll get thrown in at the deep end right away but unfortunately such players are not that common. Experience really does matter. Certainly they exist- for instance O'Driscoll getting capped for Ireland without even playing for Leinster- but they don't come along every day.
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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:36 am

People say that there is a difference between club and international levels and that players that play well at club, may not play well at international level. This I agree with.

That said, we will never know how a player will perform at the top level if the coach is too conservative and does not show faith in them. Mcloskey and Marshall have both looked very mature, very good and more comfortable in the centres than Payne did at club level (as did Henshaw in my opinion at International level) so why not give them a chance at International level?

Just because a player has age and experience on their side at club level does not mean that they will transfer that to international level. The chance has to be given to these boys.

If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?
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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 12:09 pm

Even with McCloskey out for the weekend, Cave gets given the 13 shirt for Ulster ahead of Payne who remains at 15. I wonder if this may have bearing on the 6N squad setup...
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Post by RubyGuby Fri 22 Jan 2016, 12:22 pm

On the age thing Wales played a 20 year old Tyler Morgan against SA in the RWC and he did a great job. I'm with billy again here, if they are good enough they are old enough. There is no easy way to introduce someone to international rugby. In some ways there's less pressure against the good sides. thumbsup

PS - Whatever Billy sais next I aint agreeing with him!!! and don't come on here being clever and saying Wales will win the GS in 2016Billy, we all know that's not going to happen now that England are again about to take the rugby world by storm Crying or Very sad

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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 12:43 pm

eirebilly wrote:If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Oh, there is no big reason. What it comes down to is that Schmidt (and me, rightly or wrongly) has total confidence in Rob Kearney and much less confidence in the other centre options, especially in that defensive role, whereas you have the opposite opinion. I expect that will change over the next few years as Henshaw, McCloskey and even the likes of Olding and Ringrose further establish themselves.

As for Ulster, we'd be mad not to pick him at 15 unless the IRFU directly interfere and tell us where to select him. Our two other fullbacks are out injured, one for the whole season, and we have centres coming out of our ears. It would be pointless to drop a centre to accommodate Payne and then have a winger out of position at 15 and no back three cover.

I don't see Payne playing a lot of rugby at 13 for Ulster for the rest of the year. Ludik is picking up so many niggly injuries now and thats probably due to the fact for months he was our only fit fullback so he played in every game. He's going to be rested a lot more over the next few months and Gilroy and Payne are the only other contenders for that shirt.
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Post by Sin é Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:35 pm

Zebo (who made Planet Rugby & Telegraphs Champs Cup Team of the Week last week) is again at fullback for Munster this week.
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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:39 pm

Sin é wrote:Zebo (who made Planet Rugby & Telegraphs Champs Cup Team of the Week last week) is again at fullback for Munster this week.

I'm pretty happy about that. I wouldn't subscribe to the view that Payne is way ahead of him at 15 like others do.

But what I'm most happy about is seeing Donnacha Ryan back. I would like him to start. I don't think Mike McCarthy has 80 minutes at test level anymore.
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Post by rodders Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:42 pm

RubyGuby wrote:Billy - I think Ireland are about to go through a bit of a transition now that POC and BOD etc have retired.

Well I don't think Wales have got past losing Gareth Edwards yet so it should balance out....
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Post by munkian Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:44 pm

rodders wrote:
RubyGuby wrote:Billy - I think Ireland are about to go through a bit of a transition now that POC and BOD etc have retired.

Well I don't think Wales have got past losing Gareth Edwards yet so it should balance out....

True dat, our 9s are sh*thouse Wink
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Post by marty2086 Fri 22 Jan 2016, 1:54 pm

Notch wrote: I would like him to start. I don't think Mike McCarthy has 80 minutes at test level anymore.

Did he ever? He has completed 80mins once this season and that was the first game of the season against Edinburgh

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Post by rodders Fri 22 Jan 2016, 2:37 pm

eirebilly wrote:
If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Because he organizes the defensive line, which he can't do from fullback as he isn't in the defensive line...

However as per your other email I do wonder if it is significant that he is at 15, Marshall is at 12, Zebo at 15 and Henshaw at 13 this weekend, with regards Schmidt's selection.

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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 2:54 pm

rodders wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Because he organizes the defensive line, which he can't do from fullback as he isn't in the defensive line...

However as per your other email I do wonder if it is significant that he is at 15, Marshall is at 12, Zebo at 15 and Henshaw at 13 this weekend, with regards Schmidt's selection.


Jackson, McCloskey and Marshall (especially Jackson) are very good and communicative defenders. Why the need to force Payne into 13 when others have outperformed him there? As I said earlier, Payne's last man defence is streaks ahead of Kearney's and will be required come the 6N. I even rate Zebo as a better 15 than Kearney...
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Post by Sin é Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:05 pm

rodders wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Because he organizes the defensive line, which he can't do from fullback as he isn't in the defensive line...

However as per your other email I do wonder if it is significant that he is at 15, Marshall is at 12, Zebo at 15 and Henshaw at 13 this weekend, with regards Schmidt's selection.


Fitzgerald at 13 and Ruddock is at 4! Is this a ploy to confuse Gatty?
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Post by rodders Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:15 pm

Sin é wrote:
rodders wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Because he organizes the defensive line, which he can't do from fullback as he isn't in the defensive line...

However as per your other email I do wonder if it is significant that he is at 15, Marshall is at 12, Zebo at 15 and Henshaw at 13 this weekend, with regards Schmidt's selection.


Fitzgerald at 13 and Ruddock is at 4!  Is this a ploy to confuse Gatty?

Well Ruddock at 4 I get ..... Wink
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Post by RubyGuby Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:19 pm

No ploy - Now Fitzgerald at 4 and Ruddock at 13, now that would be a ploy thumbsup

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Post by munkian Fri 22 Jan 2016, 3:34 pm

RubyGuby wrote:No ploy - Now Fitzgerald at 4 and Ruddock at 13, now that would be a ploy thumbsup

Fitzgerald has pretended to be a centre plenty of times, no ?
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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 4:44 pm

I would like to add (before I am going to be miserably miss-quoted again) I do like Kearney but just feel that he is not the same player he was 2 years ago and that I feel Payne and Zebo are actually better options than him right now. This is not to say that I am writing him off, he may very well regain his form and if he does then he would deserve a starting place.
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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 5:05 pm

rodders wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Because he organizes the defensive line, which he can't do from fullback as he isn't in the defensive line...

However as per your other email I do wonder if it is significant that he is at 15, Marshall is at 12, Zebo at 15 and Henshaw at 13 this weekend, with regards Schmidt's selection.

Thats true, but he is equally able to organise the positioning of the back three well. The thing is- that was really not a problem for us before he came along whereas right after BOD retired...
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Post by eirebilly Fri 22 Jan 2016, 5:51 pm

Notch wrote:
eirebilly wrote:If it is felt that Payne has the old head and experience to help these players, why cant he do that from 15 in big game situations?

Oh, there is no big reason. What it comes down to is that Schmidt (and me, rightly or wrongly) has total confidence in Rob Kearney and much less confidence in the other centre options, especially in that defensive role, whereas you have the opposite opinion. I expect that will change over the next few years as Henshaw, McCloskey and even the likes of Olding and Ringrose further establish themselves.


You really think that Schmidt has such low confidence in the centre options he has selected? You may have but I doubt that Schmidt does. these are not players to fill the squad, these are good players. McCloskey and Henshaw are both very solid defenders and leaders of the line.

I have stated why I believe that Payne is ahead of Kearney (IMO) due to his last man defensive capabilities, its not that I have no confidence in Kearney, its that I think Payne or Zebo are better defensively at 15 and that may be a very important skill to have in the 6N.
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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 6:07 pm

No, I don't really. I think he has high confidence in nearly every player selected but some he has more confidence in relative to other players.

I mean when we say someone is rubbish- we all know and accept that they're not rubbish compared to the rest of the population, including us. They were good enough to get a professional contract, they were good enough to get called up.

Like I know you don't really think Payne is a bad centre in the same way that I'd be a bad centre because I haven't touched rugby ball in years and I'm unfit, and when I wasn't unfit I was really crap anyway. You just think he's not as good a centre relative to someone else. I reckon if you were picking the team for a local amateur Dutch club of people who only play social rugby, and Payne rocked up with his boots; you wouldn't be worried thats he's going to stink the place out at 13. Same thing for Kearney. Everyone understands that and no-one is implying you really, really think they are rubbish.

It's contextual innit. When we say he doesn't have confidence in somebody its just shorthand for having slightly less confidence in somebody than another option. Thats the thing; it's not that I'm not a fan of McCloskey as a 12 or Jackson as a 10. I actually think they're both unbelievably talented players that I'm excited to see grow, and if you read my posts about them when Ulster are playing you'll see that. Saying some other player should be picked isn't an insult to those guys. I still would have confidence in them if they do start.
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Post by Sin é Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:21 pm

Schmidt is going to have to do something about the attack. Last 6Ns Wales won the game on a very good defence. Think Wales made over 200 tackles, more than double what Ireland made.

Ireland needs to improve attack.


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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:39 pm

Why I still would pick McCloskey despite Payne being a better technical player. He's too young to know what he shouldn't be able to do; he just does it. His footwork is hard to deal with and if he beats the first tackle he'll make big yardage. He could cause them some issues in midfield.
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Post by Notch Fri 22 Jan 2016, 11:42 pm

By the way, Ulster A were playing Bristol tonight- they got absolutely hammered but some young kid called Stuart Olding scored a fine individual try.

If you think the midfield selection is difficult now, wait until him and Ringrose come into it!
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Post by profitius Sat 23 Jan 2016, 1:44 am

McCloskey should start. He has been one of the players of the season in Europe and is 23/24 now which is old enough. I'd love to see him come up against Roberts.


Sin é wrote:Schmidt is going to have to do something about the attack. Last 6Ns Wales won the game on a very good defence. Think Wales made over 200 tackles, more than double what Ireland made.

Ireland needs to improve attack.


Indeed. Talk about a match of pure bosh rugby!

Brawn over brains. lol
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Post by maestegmafia Sat 23 Jan 2016, 2:36 am

I'm surprised that ring rose isn't in the mix he looks superb

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Post by eirebilly Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:43 pm

Sexton is off for Leinster with another suspected concussion. This does not bode well for his career, hope he is ok.
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Post by Golden Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:53 pm

He looks ok in the stands but very worrying none the less.

Lucky for us Jackson is playing out of his skin

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Post by eirebilly Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:08 pm

I truly hope he is ok Golden, he has had several concussions now.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:09 pm

Fitzy is surely playing his way into the starting 15.

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Post by Marshes Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:11 pm

Watching Leinster with all their Irish internationals ship 7 tries against Wasps. Fitz played well I thought, would like to see him start on the wing. Hope Sexton is OK as well.

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Post by Notch Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:16 pm

Luke Marshall the big winner in the selection stakes this weekend for me.
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Post by Gwlad Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:26 pm

eirebilly wrote:Sexton is off for Leinster with another suspected concussion. This does not bode well for his career, hope he is ok.

Thats bad news. How many has he had now? I hope he is fit for the 6 Nations.

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:29 pm

What s the news on Marty Moore? If both he and Ross are out who starts against Wales?

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:29 pm

Well white would but who benches?

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Post by Notch Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:31 pm

Gwlad wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Sexton is off for Leinster with another suspected concussion. This does not bode well for his career, hope he is ok.

Thats bad news. How many has he had now? I hope he is fit for the 6 Nations.

It's not even about being fit for Wales for him, we only have 10 days preparation and the more of them he has to sit out the more Paddy Jackson gets to train with the first team and the bigger the chances Schmidt will surprise a lot of people and drop Sexton.

I think he will keep Sexton even if he misses preparation time but if Jackson gets to train with the first team his chances of starting go up exponentially.
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Post by Gwlad Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:32 pm

Notch wrote:
Gwlad wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Sexton is off for Leinster with another suspected concussion. This does not bode well for his career, hope he is ok.

Thats bad news. How many has he had now? I hope he is fit for the 6 Nations.

It's not even about being fit for Wales for him, we only have 10 days preparation and the more of them he has to sit out the more Paddy Jackson gets to train with the first team and the bigger the chances Schmidt will surprise a lot of people and drop Sexton.

I think he will keep Sexton even if he misses preparation time but if Jackson gets to train with the first team his chances of starting go up exponentially.

Believe Jackson stepped in and did a decent job when Sexton gut flattened by Picamoles

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Post by JmD Sat 23 Jan 2016, 5:51 pm

I tell you what, given the current second row situation, Ireland could do a lot worse than having a look at Alan O'Connor. Not a world beater athete like Henderson, but he has a real hard edge to him, decent in the lineout, very effective in holding up the tackle, a little bit in the Donncha O'Callaghan mold.

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Post by eirebilly Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:11 pm

Gwlad wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Sexton is off for Leinster with another suspected concussion. This does not bode well for his career, hope he is ok.

Thats bad news. How many has he had now? I hope he is fit for the 6 Nations.

I hope he is ok, I think that's the fourth one he has had in the last 16months?
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Post by Gwlad Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:17 pm

Well it raises the issue of how you bring on his replacement in the long term.
Sexton is probably past his imperious best but still arguably one of the best in the world. He is also approaching the end of his career - i think he will be doubtful for Japan 2019- and I expect Schmidt being the shrewd operator he is will have a succession plan; it might be the time to start resting Sexton for one or two games to blood his replacement. I don't expect that v Wales though!

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Post by Golden Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:20 pm

carpet baboon wrote:What s the news on Marty Moore? If both he and Ross are out who starts against Wales?

Would imagine White would start. He might get the call even If Moore is available

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Post by eirebilly Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:21 pm

I have not made it a secret that I believe that Jackson should play at 10 over Sexton against Wales. I think that he is the key to get Ireland's backline moving against them. I just hope that Schmidt (if Sexton is out) does not go with Madigan.

Payne again showed me exactly why I rate him as a 15, he was sublime today for Ulster.
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Post by carpet baboon Sat 23 Jan 2016, 7:07 pm

eirebilly wrote:I have not made it a secret that I believe that Jackson should play at 10 over Sexton against Wales. I think that he is the key to get Ireland's backline moving against them. I just hope that Schmidt (if Sexton is out) does not go with Madigan.

Payne again showed me exactly why I rate him as a 15, he was sublime today for Ulster.

What he said x2

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Post by eirebilly Sun 24 Jan 2016, 8:08 am

eirebilly wrote:McCloskey / Henshaw make for one hell of a pairing but right now while McCloskey and Marshall are playing well and confidently together, I would certainly give them a go at Wales.
The key to that partnership, however, is to have Jackson at 10 I feel
.

After Jackson's performance yesterday and Sexton going off for yet another concussion, I feel this is the way that Schmidt has to go.

I also feel somewhat vindicated in my views on Payne at 15 (in the face of some criticism). he again was imperious at 15. He may not be the quickest runner but his speed of thought and ability will be invaluable at 15 for Ireland. That and his defensive awareness. There is no way he can be overlooked for Rob Kearney for 15.

Thought that Fitz put in an excellent shift yesterday in a Leinster side that were comprehensively beaten and has certainly put his name up as a potential starter. Harsh for Trimble as I believe he is an excellent winger but feel that Fitz at 11 and Earls at 14 would pose Wales some serious problems.

Based on what I have seen, this would be my backline for Ireland against Wales :

09 - Murray
10 - Jackson
11 - Fitz
12 - Marshall
13 - McCloskey
14 - Earls
15 - Payne
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Post by rodders Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:35 am

Points from the weekend.

Jonny Sexton's career is in big trouble - he is definitely not right and hasn't been for some time. A lot of people speculating that the groin injury in the RWC was also a concussion and he may have suffered 7 concussions in 18 months. True or not he is not right health wise.

Jared Payne was sensational at 15 against Oyonnax and both he and Zebo have to be ahead of Kearney for the fullback slot.

Fitzgerald is not a top class outside center and can't understand how Cullen thinks he and Reid offer as much as Teo and Ringrose.

O'Donaghue is a big talent and will surpass O'Mahoney soon.  Maybe Stander should come North...

Ruddock is not a lock. Gilroy is very unlucky not to be in the squad.

Team against Wales:-

1 McGrath
2 Best
3 White
4 Toner
5 Ryan
6 Ruddock
7 O'Brien
8 Stander  
9 Murray
10 Jackson
11 Kearney
12 McCloskey
13 Henshaw
14 Trimble
15 Payne

Bench: Healy, Cronin, Furlong, McCarthy, VDF, Reddan, Madigan, Earls.
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Post by rapidsnowman Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:15 am

Johnny Sexton's concussion could be catastrophic for player, province and country. This is no ordinary brain injury. Sexton's history in this area is deeply worrying for everybody concerned about the well-being of this young man.

In December 2014, Racing Metro confirmed that Sexton had suffered four concussions and as a result he must serve a 12-week stand-down period.

In the World Cup match against France, much was made of the ferocious tackle he received from Louis Picamoles, but minutes before there had been another heavy hit. He did not play against Argentina in the quarter-final.

An adductor strain was given as the reason but the on-field treatment at the time seemed to spend little time on the groin area.

The worry was increased with the knowledge that concussion can be caused by a severe hit to any part of the body and not necessarily the head.

Sexton's tackling technique is deeply flawed, as he carries his head too high at the tackle, leaving him exposed to heavy hits - the forearm smash by Mathieu Bastareaud being the perfect example.

The latest brain injury could be career-defining for Ireland's No 10 and will not easily be overlooked by him passing 'the protocols'.

What price is the 30-year-old prepared to put on his future health? How many more blows to the head is he prepared to take in the name of professional sport?

Maybe it's time he gave serious consideration to cashing in his insurance policy and leaving rugby with his faculties still intact.

Schmidt and Nucifora cannot be blamed for the injury but they stand indicted for the failure to keep Ian Madigan in Ireland and more importantly, making sure that he had adequate game-time to prepare him for this very possibility.

Remember Schmidt did not consider him good enough to initially select him for the summer tour to Argentina and watched as Jimmy Gopperth kept him on the bench at Leinster.

Meanwhile, over the last number of years Ian Keatley, a run-of-the-mill fly-half, has been performing week in week for Munster. The cost to Madigan and Munster has been high. Where was Nucifora's high performance plan? One suspects that he and Schmidt simply did not value Madigan.

Even Ireland's notoriously reticent medical community might find its voice if Sexton plays against Wales.

So who now, in the No 10 shirt; Keatley, Madigan or Paddy Jackson? The Championship could be over before it starts..........................

Sexton's injury woes

March 14, 2014: Sexton leads Ireland to the Six Nations title with a brilliant performance against France, but his march is brought to a halt with a sickening clash with Mathieu Bastareaud that sees him replaced.

June 14, 2014: Comes off after 64 minutes of the second Test of Ireland’s summer tour to Argentina after an innocuous-looking tackle on hooker Santiago Iglesias Valdez.

August 29, 2014: Has his jaw broken by a late hit from Toulon hooker Craig Burden when playing for Racing 92. The blow, which rules him out for two months, is also concussive.

November 22, 2014: After kicking what would be the winning penalty, Sexton is concussed tackling Adam Ashley-Cooper. After consulting with a French neurosurgeon, he is stood down from all rugby for 12 weeks.

October 11, 2015: Tears his adductor muscle kicking the ball in the early stages of the World Cup pool game against France and is then hit hard by Louis Picamoles. Misses quarter-final against Argentina.

Saturday: Suffers his latest concussion in an eighth-minute collision with former Leinster centre Brendan Macken. He fails a head injury assessment and doesn’t return to play.

Hook writing in the Irish Indo. It all looks a bit worrying for Sexton.

Hook obviously doesn't have too much faith in Jackson; "The Championship could be over before it starts"

He also suggests Kearney and Heaslip must be dropped.

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Post by rodders Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:26 am

In boxing its quite common that once a fighter has suffered a couple of bad KOs their punch resistance goes and they keep getting knocked out.

Obviously I'm no neurologist but Sexton is definitely not right - every big hit he seems to go off - he looks moody and his form is not good.

On a positive side Marshall has managed to bounce back from repeated concussions but at 30 Sexton needs to think of his long term health.

Irrespective of Sexton's fitness Jackson is the form 10 by a distance and Madigan is probably in better form too so that part of Hook's article is nonsense but think the rest is accurate enough unfortunately.
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:35 am

rapidsnowman wrote:Hook obviously doesn't have too much faith in Jackson; "The Championship could be over before it starts"

He also suggests Kearney and Heaslip must be dropped.

Lot to analyse there.

George Hook Logic line 1; Jackson will never be able to replace Sexton because he was poor when he was rushed into the team as a youngster. Also, its a scandal that Ringrose isn't starting for Ireland.

George Hook Logic line 2; Kearney and Heaslip are playing terribly and should be dropped despite their experience, leadership and ability. However the potential loss of Jonny Sexton to injury will devastate us despite his own poor form; Ireland cannot replace his experience, leadership and ability.

It's like reading Dr. Seuss at times.
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