My Ireland starting XV

26 10 2010

Article originally written for therugbyblog.co.uk
Ireland have an attractive fixture list this Autumn, facing Springboks on Saturday week, followed by tests against Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina.  I have compiled what I think is the strongest starting XV, Welcome any feedback in the comments.

Back Three
The fullback jersey stays with Leinster’s Rob Kearney, Geordan Murphy is set join the squad after the South African test, but don’t see him getting the nod ahead of Kearney in the big test games against South Africa and New Zealand.  Tommy Bowe and Keith Earls fill the wing spots. Luke Fitzgerald returns to the squad after hip and rib injuries, he should make an appearance from the bench for the South African game.

Centre
Tried and tested combination of Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy.Nothing to see here!

Half-Backs
This possibly the biggest headache for Declan Kidney, Ronan O’Gara and Johnny Sexton likely to get pretty even game-time across the 4 tests, I reckon O’Gara will probably start the opening game against the Springboks. Since Tomas O’Leary is out with a thumb injury, Peter Stringer has stepped back into the frame with some great performances for Munster, however, in-form Leinster scrumhalf, Isaac Boss will probably get the nod ahead of Stringer.

Backrow
Kidney will go for the combination of Ferris, Wallace and Heaslip for the South Africa and New Zealand tests. Connacht’s John Muldoon likely get a start in the Samoa or Argentina game.

2nd Row
Likely to be the Munster combination of Donnacha O’Callaghan and Mick O’Driscoll with Leinster’s Devin Toner starting the Samoa/Argentina test.

Front Row
Tony Buckley has finally usurped John Hayes in the front-row, Cian Healy will take the loosehead spot. Due to Jerry Flannery being injured, Rory Best will start at hooker, Keep an eye out for Sean Cronin in the Samoan/Argentina game, his recent form for Connacht has been outstanding, check out the video below for an example of his pace from their recent match against Bayonne in the Amlin Challenge cup:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Tommy Bowe
13. Brian O’Driscoll
12. Gordon D’Arcy
11. Keith Earls
10. Ronan O’Gara
9. Isaac Boss
8. Jamie Heaslip
7. David Wallace
6. Stephen Ferris
5. Mick O’Driscoll
4. Donnacha O’Callaghan
3. Tony Buckley
2. Rory Best
1. Cian Healy

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3 responses

26 10 2010
Ram

Isaac Boss? Holy fook have we come to that? Reddan surely! Paddy Wallace will be in the shake up. Sexton will be first choice with O Gara following up. If Luke is fit, and he should be, expect him to start instead of Earls.

26 10 2010
Tweets that mention My Ireland starting XV | ninetyninecall – rugby -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by 22dropout, Bottom of the ruck. Bottom of the ruck said: Analysis of the Irish sqad by Ninety Nine Call http://tinyurl.com/339g8yt It looks strong, but we are a little short at hooker […]

26 10 2010
ninetyninecall

Reddan and Boss are pretty similar players, Chose Boss over Reddan for his extra physciality and Stringer was my bench choice as he gives a completely different style of play.
I can only see Paddy Wallace on the bench (possibly at the expense of Stringer) as he can cover centre also.

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