Well, Declan Kidney has picked the Irish squad for the 2012 6 Nations, with one or 2 surprises. Luke Fitzgerald has been demoted to the ‘A’ squad (Wolfhounds). Fitzgerald had been very unlucky to miss out on last year’s World Cup. I thought he had been playing extremely well for Leinster since the season started so I don’t understand why he’s been left out of the main squad. Geordan Murphy hasn’t been picked either, although this is less of a shock. Despite getting a great try for Leicester, recently (their only try against Ulster over the weekend) he still hasn’t been at his best for a number of years. There is no other recognised full-back in the squad to replace Rob Kearney, though. Maybe Keith Earls will fulfill that role (Luke Fitzgerald can play at 15 as well).
Both Isaac Boss, and Tomas O’Leary are on the Wolfhounds squad as well, leaving Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan as the full squad scrum-halves. It’s quite a drop for O’Leary, who was 1st choice scrum-half this time last year. Although a great nod to Conor Murray, who should be a star in this year’s 6 Nations. Congrats to David Kearney for been called up to the Wolfhounds. He made his Heineken Cup debut for Leinster at the weekend and put in a very good performance.
In the forwards, players like Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien will want to build on their great performances from last year. Others, like Donncha O’Callaghan, need to get their act together. I would probably pick Donncha Ryan ahead of him for the first game against Wales. Ryan has already taken O’Callaghan’s place in Munster, and I think Ryan is the better player at the moment.
The first match is against Wales, and the team for that will be picked on January 30th.