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Would prefer to see Toner instead of McCarthy and Downey instead of McFadden...with these two they would inject different options for at least one of the tests to change Ireland's style of play and are a better "siege" unit, Toner for his lineout and Downey for his tackling and gain line carrying...This a 3 test series and it's frustrating to know that Kidney seems to be so one-dimensional in not recognizing that to have any chance Ireland are going to have to mix and change their style of play over the 3 games, as the only chance of taking a test is to wrongfoot or surprise the All Blacks with unpredictability...a tall order! But it's the only positive way, as sometimes we see Ireland pull out one great display when they are an unknown quantity and unpredicable...The key to having a chance against the All Blacks is to realize that they are actually predictable, but clinically predictable, in that they usually don't make basic mistakes...If Ireland were to pick the right team, draw on their "footballing" nous, throw a good deal of caution, and the inherent trepidation that carries with it, to the wind - and essentially dictate their own game instead of playing what is in front of them (the multi-talented but predictable All Blacks), they could take a test...Unfortunately, Ireland haven't a coach in the unpredictable Warren Gatland mould, so what we can be almost sure to witness in NZ is sadly a frustratingly predictable 3 test loss...but it needn't be that way!
Posted 16:19 30th May 2012
Remember, Zebo has an extra session over Gilroy with the Irish management. If, come the end of the three tests, Ireland's meaningful attacking play was missing a very obvious, Gilroy-sized skillset, then it's a significant failure on the coaches' part. Next month will provide all the answers.
The best team is the fittest group of players who are most capable of executing a successful gameplan, not simply 'X' over 'Y'. As of now, that gameplan is M.I.A. and demands recovery, whoever the personnel may be.
Posted 16:10 30th May 2012
has leo cullen retired from international rugby? he would be an ideal replacement for o'connell should he not be fit...
Posted 16:07 30th May 2012
@forward_pass, so your one change would be to substitute Gilroy for Zebo? Neither would get into the 22 never mind the 15 so the presence of either player will have no impact on our chances of winning or losing.
Posted 15:58 30th May 2012
You've got to give Kidney at least a bit of respect for his total and complete rigidity to sticking to what he knows.
Gilroy was head and shoulders above any of the Irish performers in both attack and defense. Scored 2, set up 1 and saved a try from Balshaw. It was near enough a complete performance from a winger .... and he's not taken.
Nothing against Zebo, I think the tour will help him, but really both of them should have been going. But Kidney isn't that type of coach. The choice needs to be obvious 2 years in advance to get Kidney to go for it.
In many ways it's a shame the DOC/Ryan issue was an internal Munster affair (disproving that it's a pure Munster bias and just poor decision making) as it then didn't get the publisity it deserved as if it had created more Provincial conflict it would have forced Kidney to have acted sooner and be more daring.
Alas he'll continue to 'play it safe' (laughable when you see Zebo's defending!) and stick to what he knows.
Still good luck to the touring party, they're going to need it.
Posted 15:28 30th May 2012
It seems safe to assume that no one gives the Irish team a chance in the tests, I'm wondering will the matches even draw decent crowds knowing more or less what the outcome is going to be?. Here's a novel idea that I think would be a spectacle worth getting excited about.
These tests being played by Ireland,England, Wales, and Scotland are breaking up the Super 15 competition for a few weeks which does'nt make sense.
Why not say in Irelands case, wesend our provincial sides over to play New Zealands Sup 15 teams, just imagine Leinster playing The Chiefs, Munster playing the Crusaders and so on,
I for one would love to see it, and we may even have a victory by an Irish side on NZ soil..
Posted 15:23 30th May 2012
Chris Henry is capped. He played Number 8 against Australia on Tour a couple of years ago, a game to forget as he through the intercept pass for Luke Burgess to scrore!
Posted 15:09 30th May 2012
Without O'Connell it could be land of the Long Dark Cloud for Ireland who will find it tough enough with him at his peak.
Posted 15:08 30th May 2012
@forward_pass agree with you 100% on Zebo. He is way down the pecking order from what I have seen - if you don't have Munster blinkers on. I would pick Gilroy and Dave Kearney ahead of him based on this season's form. Neither of them are from Cork though.
Posted 15:04 30th May 2012
The lack of Gilroy is a disgrace, as is the exclusion of Wilson and Downey...nice to see Tuhoy and Zebo in the mix though...
Posted 14:45 30th May 2012
That's an absolute disgrace. Craig Gilroy was the only player to put his hand up Last night and he gets left out?
Having said that, glad to see Touhy, Henry and Marshell in there but you have to wonder if O'Connell, Ferris and Boss had been fit would they have been looked at twice?
This man is going to continue to drag the national team down but at least forced freshness is still freshness and maybe the new boys will add something but add another year to the AB's record over us. I just don't see a win in that Squad.
Posted 14:44 30th May 2012
Fantastic to see Marshall in there at last!
Gutted for Gilroy he should have gone it would have been a massive boost to his game and just reward for a thunderous season.
Also good to see the 3 uncapped props an area that needs cover sooner rather than later although the Allblacks will be waiting!
My team for the first test: Healy, Best, Ross, O'Connell, Ryan, O'Brien, O'Mahony, Heaslip, Reddan, Sexton, Zebo, McFadden, BOD, Trimble, Kearney
Subs: Cronin, Loughney, Tuohy, McLaughlin, Murray, ROG, Earls
I think O'Mahony is the next best backrower we have and could be the long term answer at 7. Though not a natural pilfer his aggression, work rate and accuracy at the breakdown and in the tackle are awesome. He is a great line out option and has good hands. He needs to be on the field full stop.
McFadden is going to replace D'arcy sooner or later and now is the time. He can cover wing but 12 is his natural position with a great leg drive and turn of pace as well as a kicking game and strong defensively. Its no secret that D'arcy has be below par for Ireland now is the time.
Zebo/Trimble are the big hitting wings you need against the Allblacks Julian Savea and Hosea Gear.
If Kidney get the balance right with selection we could have a really interesting series. and run the ABs close, maybe even take a game. O'Callaghan should not be in the squad and should not play the first test, neither should D'arcy or McCarthy.
If he selects badly then Ireland could be in for a severe hiding.
Posted 14:33 30th May 2012
not sure on d'arcy, why is sherry there? start ryan and tuohy, bring wallace hes in good form, good to see the amount of new props, need one more outhalf though, also why no gilroy, kearney or o halloran but zebo? typical kidney, happy enough about this though
Posted 14:31 30th May 2012
Gilroy should be there instead of Zebo has Zebo doesn't have a defence.
Posted 14:14 30th May 2012
For some reason, I can't see Gilroy's name on this list... it must be a mistake... hah :/
Posted 14:06 30th May 2012
Its madness to rush back O'Connell,I know Ross is carrying an injury but at least it seems a minor one. I hope they go with Ronan Loughney on the bench he can actually cover both sides of the scrum unlike the unfortunate Mr Court.
Can't say that I'm looking forward to this tour, if we had our strongest squad we may have had a slim chance of snatching the 1st test(we have to beat them sometime). We will be competative but I think it will be a 3 nil whitewash with us returning yet again with the'Plucky Irish' tag.
Posted 14:06 30th May 2012
No Gilroy, but Zebo instead? There's not much hope of beating the AB's, but I'd feel a little more confident if we'd be fielding our best team, or at least had a coach who was intelligent enough to pick it.
Posted 13:59 30th May 2012