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    Best 23 of the professional era?

    Back at work bored and want to watch some debate. Best Irish 23 of the professional era. Must have a minimum of 20 caps in the professional era to be eligible so no Simon Geoghegan, James Ryan squeaks in. Would go for the following
    Healy, Wood, Furlong, O’Connell, J Ryan, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip, Stringer, Sexton, Bowe, Darcy, O’Driscoll, Earls, Kearney
    Subs
    Flannery, Popplewell, Claw, O’Kelly, D Wallace, Murray, O’Gara, G Murphy


    #2
    Originally posted by LongtimeLurker View Post
    Back at work bored and want to watch some debate. Best Irish 23 of the professional era. Must have a minimum of 20 caps in the professional era to be eligible so no Simon Geoghegan, James Ryan squeaks in. Would go for the following
    Healy, Wood, Furlong, O’Connell, J Ryan, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip, Stringer, Sexton, Bowe, Darcy, O’Driscoll, Earls, Kearney
    Subs
    Flannery, Popplewell, Claw, O’Kelly, D Wallace, Murray, O’Gara, G Murphy
    Feck it, stick SOB at 8 to make room for Wally at 7 with Ferris at 6, then just practice giving them the ball.

    Murray’s the best all round SH we’ve ever had. Better than Strings.

    The Bull would be ahead of Claw IMHO.

    O’Kelly v DOC v D Ryan is a tough one.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

      Feck it, stick SOB at 8 to make room for Wally at 7 with Ferris at 6, then just practice giving them the ball.

      Murray’s the best all round SH we’ve ever had. Better than Strings.

      The Bull would be ahead of Claw IMHO.

      O’Kelly v DOC v D Ryan is a tough one.
      Agreed on Hayes over Claw and Murray over Strings. Wally has to start. Donncha (Ryan) trumps Mal for me. No Peter?
      Poor return from the province of Ulster
      Gwan Joe!!

      Comment


        #4
        And Keith starts with young Lar on the bench in lieu of TB/Georgian Murphy
        Gwan Joe!!

        Comment


          #5
          Larmour ineligible under the completely arbitrary 20 caps rule. Personally I'd have Claw there ahead of the Bull for pure old fashioned gnarl. Stringer's pass gets him in ahead of Murray for me, Murray that bit slower to release those outside. Wally was a tough one but the ultimate bench option can do a brilliant job at 6/7/8, SOB for me better as a 7. Would not have POM ahead of Ferris or Wally personally, Ferris was a force of nature when fit, he was incredibly unlucky with injuries. MOK V DOC V D Ryan tight alright - MOK shades it for me, says a lot about just how good James Ryan has already proved to be when you look at who is excluded.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by LongtimeLurker View Post
            Larmour ineligible under the completely arbitrary 20 caps rule. Personally I'd have Claw there ahead of the Bull for pure old fashioned gnarl. Stringer's pass gets him in ahead of Murray for me, Murray that bit slower to release those outside. Wally was a tough one but the ultimate bench option can do a brilliant job at 6/7/8, SOB for me better as a 7. Would not have POM ahead of Ferris or Wally personally, Ferris was a force of nature when fit, he was incredibly unlucky with injuries. MOK V DOC V D Ryan tight alright - MOK shades it for me, says a lot about just how good James Ryan has already proved to be when you look at who is excluded.
            Murray is a better defender (by a mile), better box kicker and has a better break than Strings ever had, and he can place kick. At his peak he was the best 9 in the world (hopefully he’ll hit those heights again). Stringer never got close to that (and I was a big fan of him).

            Comment


              #7
              And then there's the case of Denis Leamy
              Gwan Joe!!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                Murray is a better defender (by a mile), better box kicker and has a better break than Strings ever had, and he can place kick. At his peak he was the best 9 in the world (hopefully he’ll hit those heights again). Stringer never got close to that (and I was a big fan of him).
                Murray is the better overall scrumhalf but Stringers speed and quality of passing would probably be better suited to this team. It would give the attack more width and also the ball a few seconds quicker to attack the blitz defence more.

                Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                  Murray is a better defender (by a mile), better box kicker and has a better break than Strings ever had, and he can place kick. At his peak he was the best 9 in the world (hopefully he’ll hit those heights again). Stringer never got close to that (and I was a big fan of him).
                  Don’t know if I’d agree Murray a better defender by a mile. one thing you could never fault Stinger for was his bravery in defence, despite his stature, he was 11 stone of pure heart. Technically he was a very good tackler – he had to be - he did a better job on Jonah Lomu in open play than most. I also remember a game saving tackle – on Philips I think - in the 2009 grand slam game against Wales with about 5 minutes to go. He is by some distance our best ever exponent of the tap tackle, the Dan Luger one in particular sticks in the mind from the early 2000s. He didn’t break often but when he did as against Biarittz in Cardiff it was usually reasonably effective! Can understand absolutely why people would go for Murray ahead of him, two Lions tours etc etc, but for me I’d go with Stringer at 9, selection is all about personal bias after all. Made the absolute most of himself, incredible longevity 20 year career in the professional game - Ireland's oldest ever professional? - open to correction on that.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by LongtimeLurker View Post
                    Back at work bored and want to watch some debate. Best Irish 23 of the professional era. Must have a minimum of 20 caps in the professional era to be eligible so no Simon Geoghegan, James Ryan squeaks in. Would go for the following
                    Healy, Wood, Furlong, O’Connell, J Ryan, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip, Stringer, Sexton, Bowe, Darcy, O’Driscoll, Earls, Kearney
                    Subs
                    Flannery, Popplewell, Claw, O’Kelly, D Wallace, Murray, O’Gara, G Murphy
                    Not sure about Darcy. He had a long and successful partnership with BOD and at his best was a great player. But BOD always seemed to do well outside a powerful straight runner who could also offload. In this respect, Rob Henderson and Kevin Maggs would be strong candidates. BOD did form a great centre pairing with the underrated Henderson for the Lions in Australia. Henderson was basically a lazy big lump who did not like to train, but when got up to full fitness was really very good. Perhaps both did not have 20+ caps in the profession era? I can't remember.
                    Erse end of nowhere

                    Comment


                      #11

                      Healy
                      Flannery
                      Furlong

                      O'Connell
                      Ryan

                      Ferris
                      Wallace
                      Leamy

                      Murray
                      Sexton

                      Darcy
                      O'Driscoll


                      Earls
                      Bowe (narrowly ahead of Hickie)

                      Kearney


                      Flannery and Leamy are hills I'm willing to die on.
                      "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                      "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                      "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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                        #12
                        Should Jared Payne be finding a place in the 23?
                        Gwan Joe!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ustix View Post
                          Should Jared Payne be finding a place in the 23?
                          Jared Payne was a great fullback IMHO, but we mostly played him at 13 where he was defensively rock solid but lacked the acceleration and footwork to be really effective.

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