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Capping Keatley after a few performances against scratch Rabo sides isn't hot thinking either. He ought, in the Munster ranks, be engaged in a tussle with O'Gara for pivotal matches. He ain't. And those Wolfhounds matches only matter more when McGahan affords him undue game time. Turning in a performance so poor at Sandy Park under the pressure of watchful eyes isn't worthy of the full cap.
The future, we agree, but Keatley's not there yet.
Posted 13:40 03rd February 2012
Earls is out according to news reports. A relief given Roberts has been declared fit. Hope all is ok with his family.
Posted 12:54 03rd February 2012
have wales put out a starting 15 yet?
Posted 21:06 02nd February 2012
Give Earls a break he is a top player, 12 is our weak link big style we have had the worst 12 in the 6 nations for the past 5 years and no one has seen the wood from the trees, best 13 ever and worst 12. Earls will do well and if he gets a break he will take it, Darcy will do nothing and have poor distribution and mess up attacks and he is still in the team. He has done nothing but miss tackles and knock on and throw intercept trys for the past 3 years at least
Posted 21:06 02nd February 2012
I must say I love the football insults from those who disagree. Heaslip hasn't performed in Green for a long, long time. I would love for him to prove me wrong as he can the best in the world when he tries, but he's no where near that at the moment. We have plenty of options in the back row now, so he will have to up his game or be dropped until he does.
Wow, bashing Keatley after one game for a scratch side last week, his career is over! He's a young lad compared to Sexton and when he gets game time for Munster you can see why those who know their stuff have high hopes for him.
Posted 21:02 02nd February 2012
For what its worth here is what my team would be for Wales
15)Keaney 14)Trimble13)O'Malley12)F.McFadden11)Earls10)Sexton 9)Murry 8)SOB 7)Henry 6)Ferris 5)POC4)Touhy 3).Ross 2).Best 1)CHealy
16) .Cronin 17).Court 18).Ryan 19) Rees 20)Reddan 21)ROG 22).Bowie
I do expect Ireland to win on Sunday even with DKs selections and not because Wales may have injuries either.They have more than enough capable substutes for the injured players imo .More because Ireland will come out and play as we/ you expect them too and irish teams in genral just seem to play better at home showing more passion and commitment
Posted 18:36 02nd February 2012
Unfortunately I left my son to type and send my post as I was late for a meeting, and he inadvertantly left Mc Fadden out and put O'Mahony at centre. I would not have selected O'Mahony as I think Henry should be there! Hougibear, I fully explained my reasons against Murray being selected. He is not a natural scrum half. He is too slow and hesitant at the base of the ruck and scrum!
Posted 18:18 02nd February 2012
I agree that Earls is a solid player, but is his defense really up to stopping Davies on Wales or Rougerie or Fofana in France? Tough call, but he is a moassive talent and I think this is the right selection as long as McFadden is on the bench to move in should he be needed. Also, O'Callaghan over Ryan? Really? C'mon Declan, lets shake things up a bit. Ryan's in form and works well with Paulie, so why not start him. Plus if you do then 60mins in you have a pissed off raging Munsterman who is fresh and can play like another back row! I think this is biggest mistake. Other selections look great!
Posted 15:47 02nd February 2012
I would love to see Keatley at 10 at some point in the tournament, he's the future for Ireland at OH.
Laughable my friend. He was jittery at Connacht, we will be jittery for Munster and if he ever gets the 10 jersey for Ireland I am getting a new passport. He is no where near good enough for international 10 duty
@curates_egg and everybody else in the Heaslip debate.
I personnally would drop Heaslip but let me ask a simple question to both camps: who is in better form right now, Roger Wilson of NH or Jamie Heaslip of Leinster?
You know the truth, dont deny it. All the NH fans are saying they will miss Roger more than Ashton because he is a man you can wholly rely on.
(Thou I would miss cancer more than Ashton :D)
Posted 15:30 02nd February 2012
Earls hasn't been training due to the birth of his daughter, well at least we know BOD's replacement doesn't fire blanks......
Posted 14:01 02nd February 2012
Dear Jamie Heaslip Bashers,
I'm not doubting you are rugby fans but your knowledge of the game has to come into question when you say he does a "Houdini", "has done nothing of note" or is "off form".
Ireland, unfortunately, don't have an out and out 7 at the moment. The only fetcher we have is Heaslip. He does the donkey work while Seanie and Ferris batter their way forward, Essentially doing their work for them. made all the more impressive when you consider he has an 8 on his back.
Ask your self this:
Would you rather have Sean O'Brien and Stephen Ferris fetching ball or running at defenders?
Nobody does this job better than Heaslip. FACT
Posted 13:36 02nd February 2012
Why all the bile about Earls, some overlook that Earls has scored 11 tries for Ireland in 26 starts...if he keeps that average up he'd be on target to be Ireland's top try scorer ever
Posted 13:21 02nd February 2012
Liam2me - "Heaslip has been doing his Houdini act for a very long time, his days are numbered"....when I read that I stopped reading the rest of your post as your knowledge of the game and positional play is clearly in par with a chimpanzee. Go back to watching football mate it's easier for your little chimp brain to understand.
Posted 11:03 02nd February 2012
, Wayne Barnes is the referee, expect totally innocent players being sin binned, terrible calls on passes, whether too forward or perfectly legal, a wrong penalty call and scrum after srcrum after scrum awarded to the wrong team when he can't make up his mind...only consolation is that he probably loathes the Welsh as much as he does the Irish
Posted 10:35 02nd February 2012
It really beggars belief that Kidney continues to put his faith in Earls. Doesn't he remember the RWC QF against Wales when he gave away possession on a number of occasions (his arms are too short), one such occasion leading to their first try. Yes, he may have scored, but Trimble coould have finished those fairly easily. In addition, he is highly suspect defensively, and was brushed off by Roberts last time we played. Of course I want Ireland to win, but I wonder will it take another himiliating defeat in order to get him to change his selection policy? On present form, I would probably start Reddan at 9 also, I'm just not sure Murray is a natural - I think Ireland are trying to re-create Mike Phillips in Murray, when he doesn't have half the skill or physicality that Phillips has. If Ireland bring this centre pairing to France, we may as well pack up and go home now, remember Rougerie vs. Darcy last year? Fofana & Rougerie vs. Darcy and Earls will be laughable.....
Posted 10:20 02nd February 2012
For the first time in a long time a positive team selected by Kidney. OK, there could be arguments about O' Callaghan, even Murray starting, but these are really minor debatable issues. Though I think Earls's best position is on the wing I'm happy to see Kidney throwing him in at 13, the hardest position to fill in Irish rugby. In my book, Earls is a real natural talent and a confidence player, I feel the fact he's been given the vote of confidence will be repaid by a good performance, especially with Kearney, who is a great line breaker, lurking on his shoulder, a combo in prospect that Munster have been missing when Earls plays 13 for them. So I expect that outside channel with Bowe and Trimble on either side to be a problem area for Wales to cope with, if Earls injects a bit of magic, which he's more than capable of. The selection of O' Mahony is great to see and am confident he'll deliver if called upon. The good thing for Ireland is that O' Brien, Heaslip and Ferris have a back row score to settle and I can feel it in my bones they won't dissappoint...I suspect a good win in this game for some reason and if it is that always worries me about Ireland as France will be up next...I'll stick my kneck out and call Ireland to beat Wales by 15+
Posted 10:17 02nd February 2012
Now I understand the frustration of all Irish fans.
This selection especially as far as the centres are concerned is cumbersome and will pile additional pressure on the back row to eye any potential hole left.
Outside centre is the orchestrator of the defense out wide, nobody realises how good is BOD at that (in addition to all his attacking skills), I do not see Earls possessing this ability. To be good, he is the 4th best winger in Ireland (Bowe, Trimble, Fitzegerald head and shoulder above).
DOC has become a liability, so many are the penalties he gives away.
I feel that this is not the best squad Ireland can field.
Posted 09:59 02nd February 2012
Heaslip is playing perfectly well of late, culminating in a veritable man-of-the-match performance in the last round of Heineken Cup, only to have it overlooked for a try-scorer by Sky's Frankie Sheahan. Any poor form he may have shown in New Zealand was grossly exaggerated by Neil Francis and his ilk. Were any incumbent 'loosie' sweating bullets prior to yesterday's announcement, it was surely the Tullow man. Still, this constitutes Ireland's best backrow.
Oh, and Keatley will need to flaunt his stuff another season at Munster, as he played a 'mare against the Saxons last week; a truly awful turn. I too think him the future, but not in that guise.
Posted 09:32 02nd February 2012
There is a flip side to Kidney┐s selection and the thinking behind it.
He is hoping for monumental performances from some of the ┐old guard┐ that will be born purely out of their desire to gain redemption after the WC failure. He knows it┐s last chance saloon, so do they, and he┐s counting on that bringing out big performances from them.
Also, by placing his faith in their hands and showing them some loyalty he hopes that this too will prompt big performances as the players will want to repay the faith that Deccie has shown in them. Don┐t forget, he has taken lots of flack for these decisions, which will only increase the players desire to repay him.
There┐s more to it than plain conservatism I think. If we are really bad against Wales I think he will ring changes then. I think it will work for him though, I┐d almost bet my life on O┐Callaghan, D┐Arcy and Earls having big performances on Sunday. Then watch everyone change their tune.
Having said that, I┐d love to see Kearney and Zebo in the mix, O┐Malley too. Not going to happen though, unless things fall apart. Who knows, things very well could fall apart. If we lose to Wales on Sunday and then go to Paris and get beaten the s*** will begin to hit the fan. We should be aiming for a grand slam.
Posted 09:21 02nd February 2012
From what I have seen of Heaslip this year he has preformed well and is winning ball on the ground like a 7. As a Leinster fan im excited to see Zebo braught in i think he played realy well against Northhampton. Ireland need to bring in new players because the squad choices sometimes drive me mental. Players who are infrom not been picked and players who are out of form been picked. its not right no wonder we arent preforming as well as we could at international level. Some players are too safe and know it bring in someone to chomp at the senior players heels and Ireland will get results. if you are playing for ur position you are going to play even better to keep it.
Posted 09:07 02nd February 2012