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    Irish 6 nations squad and Lions Squad

    Its going to be an interesting 6 nations for Ireland as we are without some very key players such as Tommy Bowe and Paul O'Connell but this will increase the chances of young players getting on the Lions squad in the summer. I personally would love to see Kilcoyne, Gilroy, Zebo and O'Mahony in all of Irelands six nations matches.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

    #2
    Indeed. Not sure we will see too much deviation from the following starting XV:

    1. Healy
    2. Best
    3. Ross
    4. O'Callaghan
    5. Ryan
    6. O'Mahony
    7. O'Brien
    8. Heaslip
    9. Murray
    10. Sexton
    11. Zebo
    12. D'Arcy
    13. BOD
    14. Earls
    15. Kearney

    That is providing all the above are fit and available. Still question marks over the fitness of BOD, Kearney and Earls. I am assuming that they should be ok in 4-5 weeks time.

    Other players that will go close to getting a spot are McCarthy in the second row, Ferris in the backrow if fit - if not, hopefully Henderson could make the bench, Marshall at inside centre and Trimble on the wing.

    But in reality it's likely to be close to that starting XV.

    Other possible options are:

    Loosehead: Kilcoyne will be unlikely to start any games unless Healy picks up a knock. Hopefully some bench time. Court has also been playing well, so for once we're not holding our breath totally. We have one of the top looseheads in the world keeping out an in form Court and a player who seems to have massive potential (and current form) in Kilcoyne. An area of relative strength.

    Hooker: The injury to Strauss has clouded things although with Best back it's not the dilemna it would have been in November. Cronin has not really kicked on this year. Sherry has been very good. I wonder if the run of games might see him bench ahead of Cronin - providing Strauss is not ready?

    Tight Head: Ross then...as usual, daylight. Botha easily ahead of the patchy Archer (he may yet come good which is open to debate however I doubt anyone would argue he would be able to step up if Ross was unavailable yet) at Munster. Bent came with some big raps and forced himself straight onto the bench in Autumn...has yet to look the answer. Fitzpatrick has frustratingly been injured continuously for the past few years, with the odd game. Sad, cos he looked ok in NZ. Loughney a victim of the ridiculous decision to allow a NIQ tighthead to move to Connacht. The sooner these PAG rules kick in the better for Ireland.

    Lock: No real young guns to speak of. McCarthy and Tuohy the only real outsiders to speak of in terms of this six nations...and some would argue after McCarthy's showing in November and since that he will start ahead of O'Callaghan. Amazingly in the absence of O'Connell we have three very decent options (ryan, O'Callaghan and McCarthy) all in form.

    6. Henderson the obvious bolter. McLaughlin could make a push for the bench.

    7. If O'Brien is fit he will start. Henry has let no one down but I'd be surprised if Kidney didn't squeeze O'Brien back in. The other option is moving O'Brien to 6 and keeping Henry at 7. I'd imagine the nailed on starters in the back row will be O'Brien and Heaslip and then it will be a straight choice between Henry's skills a specialist 7 and the growing claims and phyicality of O'Mahony (along with his versatility)

    8. Heaslip. Even though Coughlan is playing brilliantly, it's highly unlikely he will get the nod...even for bench time. Any other 8 options will be players like O'Mahony etc as a stopgap for injury.

    9. Murray appears to have temporarily shut up the doubters (at international level). Reddan has his claims but there is no one really banging down the door. Paul Marshall has a massive roadblock in front of him at Ulster. Marmion is making noises but six nations is too soon. Boss is playing well at Leinster...but is getting on a bit.

    10. O'Gara is patchy, Jackson shows glimpses but needs a little more time to develop. Madigan also has a roadblock. As long as Sexton is fit he will be 10 this six nations. I suspect Kidney will persist with O'Gara as a bench option until one of Jackson, Madigan or perhaps Hanrahan or Stuart Olding at Ulster stick their hands up consistently.

    12. Despite the claims of McSharry at Connacht, the only genuine alternative to D'Arcy appears to be Luke Marshall at Ulster. His time is definitely coming but the Six Nations may be too soon.

    13. Earls has done nothing wrong there, but O'Driscoll should be given every opportunity to impress. If he is now fully fit I'd expect him to play well. There are no other obvious candidates here

    Wingers: Without Bowe there is a spot open however with the return of BOD and Kearney I feel that Kidney will simply move Zebo and Earls to the wing. Trimble and McFadden have both put their hands up. It's a shame that no one at Leinster has put their hands up as this was probably the time for players like Dave Kearney (injury), Andrew Conway and Fionn Carr to shine.

    Full Back: Kearney if fit will be nailed on, although Zebo played well there. I think Zebo will be moved to the wing. Munsters full backs (Hurley and Jones) do not appear ready for the step up, Payne is a Kiwi at Ulster and I have no doubt that Henshaw at Connacht will be a full international one day but would be very surprised to see Kidney bring him in for the Six Nations.

    Comment


      #3
      I think the fact that kidney played a new look team against argentina in the autumn series might determine the team. Many fell that his eyes have opened to a new look squad but I agree with you. I can see him picking half a leinster and munster team again. That is all well and good but players like darcy know that surely its time to give up the international stage. Even BOD for that matter. There is too many young players who people feel are better and if kidney keeps playing the same team then these young players wont be so young when he finally does pick them.
      "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

      Comment


        #4
        Sadly, we are still in the position where an injury to Ross and the whole campaign is f*cked. Fitzpatrick seems to be made of glass and Bent seems to be more Borlase then Afoa although the weakness in the second row at Leinster would not help his scrummaging. I assume that the six nations squads are going to be 23 men like the AIs.

        Comment


          #5
          "13. Earls has done nothing wrong there, but O'Driscoll should be given every opportunity to impress. If he is now fully fit I'd expect him to play well. There are no other obvious candidates here"

          Eh..?? Cave?

          Comment


            #6
            With the likes of BOD it's very much an issue of medically fit vs match fit...I'm still reserving judgement tbh.

            TH is a problem, it has been a problem for years, it is likely to remain a problem for some considerable time to come...in large part because there is a dearth of experienced TH props who can teach the young, potential TH's. The big advantage that Dan Cole has had was having Julian White (for all the bad points he could anchor a scrum well) and Martin Castrogiovanni to learn from.

            Comment


              #7
              Irish 6 nations squad and Lions Squad

              True enough Syriana but if Cole gets injured the drop off in standard is massive as well, and the same applies to jones and Wales. Bent did shape quite well when he came on in the AIs and Ross was very strong. Hopefully Healy having issues as well as the tight heads indicates the problems are engine room related.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Kevin77 View Post
                Wingers: Without Bowe there is a spot open however with the return of BOD and Kearney I feel that Kidney will simply move Zebo and Earls to the wing. Trimble and McFadden have both put their hands up. It's a shame that no one at Leinster has put their hands up as this was probably the time for players like Dave Kearney (injury), Andrew Conway and Fionn Carr to shine.
                I think Gilroy has done enough domestically at least (even leaving out his cameo against a half interested Argentina) to show that he is at least level with Trimble if not ahead of him. I would still expect McFadden to make the bench in February ahead of him though, for his versatility if nothing else
                \"In a world gone mad, only a lunatic is truly insane\"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by munster14 View Post

                  ..... but players like darcy know that surely its time to give up the international stage.
                  Presumably you reckon that Darcy is picking himself in the Green Monkey squad? And that he awarded himself a new 2 year IRFU international contract, 8 months ago?
                  New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Think of all the players who are waiting to get a 1st team selection in midfield. (leaving out O'driscoll) 1.Earls 2.McFadden 3.Cave 4.Marshall. That's 4 players who (I think) are better, stronger and all have more potential. Everyone wants these players to start ahead of Darcy and he knows this.
                    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      2 of those players you list are OC's and D'arcy is an IC at international level.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by munster14 View Post
                        Think of all the players who are waiting to get a 1st team selection in midfield. (leaving out O'driscoll) 1.Earls 2.McFadden 3.Cave 4.Marshall. That's 4 players who (I think) are better, stronger and all have more potential. Everyone wants these players to start ahead of Darcy and he knows this.
                        Care to answer my question? Or are you unable to see (or smell) the elephant - or is it a dolphin - in the room?
                        New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by taz View Post
                          2 of those players you list are OC's and D'arcy is an IC at international level.
                          I know that but i'm sure they would happily start at inside centre if they had to. They are all well capable of taking D'arcys place.
                          "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Old Dog View Post
                            Care to answer my question? Or are you unable to see (or smell) the elephant - or is it a dolphin - in the room?
                            Calm yourself, i'm just giving my own opinion. If you don't like it that's fine by me but there is no need to insult and offend me.
                            "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by munster14 View Post
                              Calm yourself, i'm just giving my own opinion. If you don't like it that's fine by me but there is no need to insult and offend me.
                              I have offered you two opportunities to show that you are capable of joined-up thinking.

                              Regrettably, you have failed to avail of either. I can do no more. This correspondence is now over.
                              New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                              Comment

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