Well, Declan Kidney has picked his teams for Ireland’s next two games. The first game is against Connacht on Thursday, while the second is the return match against France on Saturday.
The team against Connacht has a lot of new faces. I’ve haven’t really even heard of the 2 centres. Geordan Murphy is a very familiar name and will want to impress as Rob Kearney had 2 great games earlier in the warm-up series. There’s an interesting half-back combination with Paddy Wallace playing at out-half, teaming with his former Ulster team-mate Isaac Boss. Wallace has played most of his previous games for ireland at centre, so it will be interesting to see how he fares. None of the scrum-halves so far have really put their hands up for selection, so Boss has everything to play for. There are a few hopefuls in the pack, in the Back-row especially. In the second row, Leo Cullen will want to make up for his disappointing performance against France. As will Tony Buckley, who had a nightmare. Connacht are starting in the Heineken Cup this year so they’ll want to put in a big performance. There is still a place on the squad for some of the Irish team picked so they’ll want to show their best form. Should be a very intriguing game.
The team picked against France looks to be the closest to the full Irish team, of those picked so far in the warm-up series. Felix Jones has a very tough game in store, for his first start (I personally would have picked Jones against Connacht, and Murphy against France. Still cometh the day, cometh the man..and all that. Jones may yet proved his worth). Great to see D’Arcy and O’Driscoll back. Let’s hope they’re fighting fit after there injuries. Tommy Bowe still isn’t fully fit so Keith Earls comes in on the wing (Earls seems to be considered a utility player with all the problems involved. Someone who can play in any position usually isn’t good enough in one particular position, ie jack of all trades, master of none). Trimble is playing his 3rd game of the series.
Let’s hope both teams can front up and really show the world what they can do.