She’s Lost Control

Joe Schmidt’s first team, picked to deal with what will be a tough Samoa side on Saturday, looks to be more or less on message.  Usually in the November series there’s one game which allows the coach to use a raft of fringe players: think Kidney’s first game in charge against Canada, when he gave Keith Earls his first cap and Stephen Ferris announced himself as a blindside ready for test rugby, or Fiji last year when some Ulster players finally got a chance to show their ability.  That isn’t really the case this series, because Samoa have ascended to the ranks of the second tier, but nonetheless, Schmidt has taken the opportunity to give some matchtime to those around the fringes.

If it was the Kiwis, you can bet Sexton, O’Connell, Healy and O’Brien would all be playing, but instead we’ll be looking at Jackson, Toner, McGrath and Henry.  It’s a nice shake-up and, crucially, all the players brought in are in good form.

Jack McGrath has been excellent for Leinster this season, where the role of reserve loosehead is seen as a vital one, because they rarely play Healy for more than 55 minutes at a time.  He’s deservedly jumped ahead of David Kilcoyne in the queue – it’s a call that might aggrieve Munster fans, but Kilcoyne just hasn’t hit the form he had last season yet.  If he can get back to that level, he’ll undoubtedly be in the coach’s thinking.  When it comes to test rugby, if the call is between two inexperienced players, form should be the decider.

The tight five will have its work cut out for it, though, and outside McGrath’s dynamism and Best’s workrate, it isn’t the most mobile unit.  That said, Devin Toner is a richly deserved pick.  For a player who plays an honest, clean game, he has taken an awful lot of flak down the years, mostly, we think, becaue he doesn’t have ‘good face’.  It should be to the surprise of nobody that his progress has been incremental, but at 27 he now looks a test player, or a handy squad player at least.  Sure he’ll never have the sense of mania that Paul O’Connell can bring to a game, but for the crucial business of restart and lineout catching, he’s the next best thing, and his handling of the ball is surprisingly good.

The Mikes Ross and McCarthy can be considered fortunate starters.  Ross is struggling badly with the new scrum calls, which have thrown the understood scrummaging hierarchy on its head, and McCarthy has looked unfit for Leinster.  Dan Tuohy was a hard-luck story under the old coaching regime, and he’s entitled to feel hard done by again now, because his recent form has been sensational.  As for Ross, it seems an inevitability that his waning performance arc will cross over that of Marty Mooradze’s rising one at some point in the next twelve months; it’s not if, but when.  Probably just too soon though for this series.

Heaslip captains the side for this match, but Paul O’Connell has been announced as Ireland captain.  It’s a shrewd move by Schmidt. For a start, nobody in the land could argue O’Connell won’t do a great job.  It also puts to bed some of the ‘previous’ Schmidt has had with O’Connell, and should help to keep the group united in the event that – as seems likely – Munster don’t have a huge representation in the team.

Another positive call is Chris Henry, and it was nice to get some insight into why he’s been picked, with Schmidt citing his improved release-and-jackal technique, which has proved penalty-expensive if not at its best in the past.  How refreshing to have a coach who gives a little bit of technical detail to the public and show appreciation their understanding of the game, as opposed offering crumbs such as ‘fellas have put their hands up’. Henry looks a likely beneficiary of the new regime, because Schmidt appears to rate him highly, and has tended to see him as the key man to game-manage when he played in opposition to Leinster.

Madigan’s luckless start to the season continues, but Jackson is unarguably the right pick, for the same reasons as Jack McGrath is at loosehead.  The only contentious call in the backline is at first centre where Gordon D’arcy is preferred to Luke Marshall.  Egg isn’t happy about it, not one bit; we could go through the ins and outs of what each will bring, and mention D’arcy’s experience, but let’s face it, he’s in because of the beard.  How can you leave out a man with such a beard?

For once, this feels like an Irish game to look forward to, and probably is for the players too.  In recent years, it felt like the Leinster and Ulster players were happier in their provincial set-ups and that playing for the test side was an onerous experience for them.  In the last Six Nations the players looked like the weight of the world was on them.  The pendulum looks to have swung, for the Leinster players anyway.  They have hardly looked full of joy when playing O’Connor-ball over the last two months, and returning to Joe Schmidt’s methods will surely energise them, and should have the same effect on the rest of the panel who are experiencing his coaching for the first time.

And, finally, what of Schmidt’s no doubt very deliberately chosen words about having ‘lost control’ of Johnny Sexton?  Intriguing for sure, but were they aimed at his paymasters in the IRFU, who failed to contract the player when Schmidt was his coach at Leinster and was powerless to effect the situation?  Or was it a cautionary note to the likes of Sean O’Brien and Donnacha Ryan who are being courted by French clubs?  Probably a little of both.  The message is clear to all, though: we’re better off with our best players playing in Ireland.  Our own take is that with the size of French club squads, they don’t play that much more, but in the case of Johnny Sexton there has been something of a perfect storm; this being a Lions season combined with injuries to other fly-halves at his club has resulted in him having very little rest and playing an awful lot of matches.  For sure though, we’ll all be better off if O’Brien, Ryan and Murray are playing in Ireland next year.

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51 Comments

  1. Cian

     /  November 8, 2013

    Very fair summary lads, I also feel excited about seeing the team play under Schmidt and feel the same players are a bit fortunate to be picked (particularly McCarthy and D’Arcy). I always felt during Kidney’s tenure that the biggest problem was the on-field tactics rather than selection, so that’s what I’m most looking forward to seeing a change in under the new management. Let’s face it, if McCarthy over Tuohy had been a Kidney call there would have been outrage, but we should assume the coach has a strategy behind it and judge him solely on whether his choice gets results on the pitch, in this match and throughout the series (I’m confident it will).

    So here’s to some incisive attacking play, heads-up rugby, and contingency plans if the shit hits the fan. I can’t wait!

    • “Let’s face it, if McCarthy over Tuohy had been a Kidney call there would have been outrage”

      Yes. A lot of people thought they were better-qualified than a GS-winning coach to pick the Irish rugby team. I see you will be applying a different standard to the new guy’s selections, for makey-uppy reasons.

      • Cian

         /  November 8, 2013

        If by different standard you mean different to the one applied by many other fans during Kidney’s tenure then yes, you are right. If you mean different to my own then nope, swing and a miss. I rarely if ever complained about Kidney’s selections (as a Munster fan I wouldn’t have had cause to do so anyway) and I intend to treat Schmidt’s similarly.

        So what I will in fact be doing is sticking to my conviction that coaches (GS-winning, H-Cup winning, etc) are better qualified than I am to pick the Irish rugby team.

      • Everyone is entitled to quibble with team selection, HenryFitz, it’s part of being a rugby fan; having opinions and stuff. I’d have questioned picking McCarthy over Tuohy on current form if Kidney made the call, and I’m questioning it now.

        To dismiss Kidney’s Ireland’s lack of cohesive gameplan and hope that it will contrast with Schmidt, whose Leinster always had a readily identifiable way of playing, doesn’t strike us as especially makey-uppy.

        • I think there was quite a bit more than quibbling.

          Kidney’s Ireland had a pretty obvious way of playing based on Saffer forward play and Australian backline moves, with a general emphasis on territory before adventure. It had its moments.

          In any event, the witch is dead now. Let’s see how her replacement gets on.

          • Yes, let’s move on. Roll on tomorrow. Hip hip.

          • curates_egg

             /  November 8, 2013

            The witch is dead but her cats still prowl and are waiting for every opportunity to pounce.

          • The fearful words of a man with a heart of straw.

          • Brain of straw, obviously.

          • I think it’s reasonable to say that if this selection had been thrown out by Kidney, it would not have been hailed as “more or less on message”. I understand that the expected change in gameplan has a lot to do with that but isn’t it reasonable to be concerned that there won’t have been time for such a change to take place? This article is just one of many in other sports that suggests that coaching changes do not actually have a massive influence, and that player talent and luck have the greatest influence on outcomes ( http://www.advancednflstats.com/2013/10/on-effect-of-coaching.html ). If this team had been put out last year against Samoa, I would have been a bit concerned (although I think the selection was more or less forced by injury). I feel more or less the same now – this team may well have it in them, but I think optimism is a bit too high (although this piece from WoC is pretty relaxed). Hopefully it works out, but regardless of results, judgments of the team should wait until we have a larger sample size. If Ireland win with flair tomorrow, it could be the start of something special or another false dawn. Likewise, if they lose tomorrow, it probably isn’t the end of the world.

          • curates_egg

             /  November 8, 2013

            Heart of straw, brain of straw, tin man, cowardly lion…fraud behind a curtain – lots of great characters in that musical. Which one are you? Whichever way you look at it, there’s no place like home, eh Henry?

          • Don

             /  November 8, 2013

            @HenryFitz (@HenryFitz1)
            Kidney’s Ireland had a pretty obvious way of playing based on Saffer forward play and Australian backline moves…

            F**king. LOL.

          • In case the first word didn’t confirm you as an inarticulate moron, you were kind enough to add a second.

        • *clicks ruby slippers*

      • Don

         /  November 9, 2013

        The second ‘word’ Mr Fitz was an abbreviation, where the first letter in a sequence of words is used as short hand. Used here because I don’t have time enough in the day to listen to the gush of pointless impotent vitriol that spews from your mouth.
        We were all happy when DK won the grand slam and I supported the appointment when it happened. But the GS was partly fortunate as this website and many others have discussed. And after that he lost his way terribly and results back this up.
        Also back line Ozzy moves, when on song, tend to be pretty. Our rugby over the last while has been anything but.
        But of course, don’t give the new guy a chance because no one knows better than a GS winning coach with a horrid win/lose ratio towards the end.
        Go home Dorothy, you’re drunk 🙂

        • ‘impotent vitriol’ is just more internet buzzwords. Almost as bad as supporting your argument by saying I hereby reference the internet. Neither of these is quite as stupid as using the ACRONYM lol, which use is tautologous and a sure symptom of moron’s disease. It’s possibly forgivable in excitable and eager-to-please teenage girls, but anyone else should wash out their brains. All these give the impression that you are not so much a personality as a collection of stupid internet memes randomly reassembled in imitation of rational argument.

          Let’s not go into detail about the errors in your gross oversimplifications. Suffice to say that the Irish style we saw in various recent games like the 3rd test in Hamilton, the game against Argentina plus the games against Wales and Scotland in the 6N, was the style which Ireland were trying to play. It may not have been effective, but it was pretty when it worked.

  2. A decent balanced piece. First Ireland match I’ll have been at in ages, so I’m hoping the team clicks and we see some good running rugby married to some ruthlessness in our kick-chase and set-piece. I would also share reservations about D’Arcy’s selections, i.e. I think he’s basically past it as an attacking force and hasn’t strung together two good performances in a green jersey in recent memory, but preumsably the idea is to have experience inside and outside Jackson in the form of Murray and D’Arcy, and in the next game Marshall will have Sexton and O’Driscoll inside and outside. So what harm.

    On Kilcoyne, I’m slightly aggrieved at his non-selection in the overall squad, but not at McGrath’s expense, at Court’s. I think it’s reasonably clear that Court is the second-best loosehead scrummager we have, but he offers no real impact off the bench, and it seems like he won’t be starting any of the games now. In that circumstance, I would have preferred to see Kilcoyne coming off the bench in one of these games, even if he isn’t in the same form as last season.

    • Might I suggest that the reason Kilcoyne is not in the squad is neither McGrath or Court, but Cronin?

      • Would that be the Cronin who got munched by Glasgow’s Moray Low the other week? I’ve a lot of time for Cronin and think he’s going to be a very good player, but he’s not ready yet. He’s put in some good performances against bad teams and average props. Killer devoured Luc Ducalcon in his first H Cup start, which should give you some idea of where the bar is set.

        McGrath and Court have possibly been in better form. It has nothing to do with Cronin.

        • Cian

           /  November 8, 2013

          It has a bit to do with Cronin, not because he’s overtaken Killer but because his good form has been rewarded with increased game time (and less opportunities for Kilcoyne to overcome his slight slump in form). That said, Schmidt must rate Court pretty highly and think he can use him over the next few years – this would have more to do with his selection over Kilcoyne than anything Cronin might have done. Otherwise, Cronin would be taking his place in the squad, not Court.

  3. I think McCarthy and Tuohy was marginal alright – I’m not sure I fully agree with McCarthy looking tired, to keep with your “good face” analogy, does he not just have an “exhausted face”?!!

    I think the swinging vote was the fact that Toner and McCarthy have had plenty of game time together this season – given how combative the tight is going to be, having that familiarity with each other can only help. Probably tough on Tuohy but I agree with the call.

    I don’t agree with D’arcy being in there though, even more so that BOD is playing. It’s the perfect opportunity to put Marshall in there, playing outside of his provincial 10 who he would know inside out, and inside the best player (and critically for Marshall, the best communicator) we have.

    I really, really hope Marshall gets the Australia game now instead, we can’t afford (no matter how good they read the game) to have two guys in their mid 30’s in midfield for 3 games on the bounce. Their ability to recover and play at their peak after getting smashed by Samoa is questionable – throw in Aus straight after and I’d really fear for the New Zealand game.

    All in all though, a hugely promising selection and I’m delighted this is the first game, rather than the last so that if “fella’s put their hand up” 😛 and have a great game they’re in the jersey and have a real chance of keeping it for next week.

    • I can just (just) live with the call about Darce given that, for all his lower impact in contact, his d work is as solid as it has ever been. Samoa are going to be hugely physical in the midfield and I can see the logic behind throwing him the jersey for this test. I just hope, as you do, that the blonde bombshell that is Marshall gets played next week, as he will never have a better learning period with BoD at his side and the Aussies in his face.

  4. abitofshoepie

     /  November 8, 2013

    With the relatively shallow pool of players, selection was never going to change that much from what went before. I think like myself most people are looking forward to what should hopefully be a a more enjoyable style and more astute tactics. Marshalls ommission was a real suprise though, given his form and familiarity with Jackson, but the bearded one still has a lot to offer, especially in defense. Hopefully Marshall is just being saved for the big games. I also don’t see the value in having Paulie on the bench…..he’s not really a ball carrying game changer so I would have thought keeping him under wraps until Australia arrive would have been the thing to do. Ireland by 20…

  5. Bueller

     /  November 8, 2013

    A pretty fair summary. A relatively fair selection from Schmidt too (If Kidney had named 15 Munster players when he first came in there would have been a national blog commenting inquiry though, Munster were then in a similar spot to where Leinster are now).
    Cant agree with the criticism of Toner being in relation to his lack of ‘good face’ though – he spent years learning the game as he was utterly useless as an underage player – relying solely on height to keep him in with a shout of professionalism. Over 10 years of training has finally stuck and he has become a good player, fair play to him, but he was muck 3 season ago-nothing to do with his ‘face’.
    Still don’t understand how FMcF is anywhere near an international rugby pitch but he will put in a hard shift, even if he offers pretty much nothing else IMO.
    Anyway let’s hope Schmidt can work his magic on the whole squad and we do the business (and by that I mean at least a win v Samoa and Australia and I wouldn’t rule out an upset to the ABs unbeaten season in their last game! Obviously Samoa and Aus are ranked ahead of us, but so are Wales and England and we have absolutely no fear when playing them..I mean England are 3rd FFS!) It is time to achieve at long last!

    • Jimbob

       /  November 8, 2013

      I think you’re being very hard on McFadden to be honest. He’s not your typical tall, slender, fielding winger like Zebo or Bowe but he is surprisingly quick, strong in the tackle and has quite a good footballing brain. Granted, if Zebo or Gilroy were fit he’d be dropped but I’d say he could challenge Earls for a spot.
      He’s been playing well this year and was one of Leinsters best last year. His spot is well deserved.

      • And his best position is on the wing – his pass off his wrong hand wouldn’t be the most accurate so having him on the wing negates this. His abililty to squirm and gain yards is fantastic, and I’m sure he’ll go looking for the ball in midfield on occasion too so hoping for a strong performance.

        A fully fit squad would probably mean he doesn’t make the 23 but he’s a really consistent, elusive player to bring in.

      • Len

         /  November 8, 2013

        I agree with you but I still think he’s better off in the centre and has looked far more dangerous there this season when he’s been moved in to let Fitzy come on at wing.

      • Bueller

         /  November 8, 2013

        Maybe a little harsh on my part alright, but I struggle to think of any other decent international rugby squad that he would make. He is a fine player but is limited (I’m thinking the rich mans Ian Dowling here). While Earls is very inconsistent he is one of our few dangerous runners in the country. FMcF will not pose any threat to a good back-line – he will run hard straight and all day but do you really see him ever slipping between Conrad Smith and J Savea? Solid and all as he is, I think we should aspire to more……
        I’m fully prepared to eat my words if he proves me wrong. (This all being said he has scored 7 tries in 9 apps……so maybe I just amn’t seeing it!)

        • Bueller

           /  November 8, 2013

          *19 apps

          • Jimbob

             /  November 8, 2013

            Not many players will be finding gaps between Savea and Smith; I’d say Gilroy would be our best bet for that scenario. Maybe we should aspire to more but when the players I’ve mentioned above(2 Lions and Gilroy) plus a return to form/gametime for Fitzgerald(another Lion) we will have more!
            Will he make the grade for any of NZ, SA, Aus, Fra or Wales? Doubtful. Could he push for selection in an England, Scotland, Italy, Argentina or Pacific island team? Possibly..it’s something that’s impossible to fathom!
            To say he shouldn’t be anywhere near an international rugby pitch given our outside back situation is very unfair.
            As an aside, he was also practicing his placekicking this week. Not a bad option to have if PJ gets the yips.

        • Leinsterlion

           /  November 8, 2013

          “Rich mans Ian Dowling”, I am stealing that, harsh but true.

        • I’m with Bueller on this one. I don’t like to criticise McFadden because he is clearly one of those players who would run through brick walls for his team if you made him, but we’ve taken to calling him The Kidare Lewis Moody because, well, that’s what he is. His first thought when he gets the ball seems to be to get the head down and charge into something. The fellow is as game as they come, and will always be a handy and durable squad player who can fill a gap in the event of injury, but I think Keith Earls and Simon Zebo are much more threatening in attack.

          • Steve

             /  November 8, 2013

            Am I the only one who remembers Ferg weaving and chipping his way through the Biarritz defence last April? Was that some fever dream? Was it even Ferg?

          • Chogan (@Cillian_Hogan)

             /  November 8, 2013

            Well said Steve.
            And yes that was Ferg

          • Don

             /  November 8, 2013

            It was a one off lads! Come on, I really like Ferg for the points above. He really does strike me as an utter team player. Is he better than Gilroy/Zebo? Or Marshall at 12? No chance.
            Speaking of Gilroy, that’s one of the calls I REALLY do not agree with. I did a quick search, is he injured right now?

          • Jimbob

             /  November 8, 2013

            I think he’s on his way back from injury. started off the season at full back, missed a few games and has only played once (maybe twice) since. I’d say he wasn’t considered as we just haven’t seen enough of him this season.

          • Bueller

             /  November 9, 2013

            Credit where credit’s due: http://balls.ie/rugby/absolutely-sensational-play-from-fergus-mcfadden-gif/ that was brilliant. But every dog has its day, it just happened to be in an Amlin game where the opposition had no interest in even being on the pitch, and I remember Sean Cronin maklng a 60m break up the centre 2 mins later but I don’t think he is international quality either (although at least he has the natural ability underneath his lack of confidence at the set piece)

  6. Len

     /  November 8, 2013

    Its a good team and refreshing to see form rewarded. I don’t agree with the points being made about D’arcy, for a start he’s been in good solid if not spectacular form so far this year and is in the team to provide some experience and extra defensive nouse outside of Jackson. If I’m honest the two calls that go against form are Ross and Drico. Ross has looked awful since the start of the season. His inability to adapt to the new scrum rules have for me highlighted what a liability he is in broken play, what I mean by this is that he greatly reduces the line speed of your defence. Drico looked good for Leinster in his first game but is obviously lacking game time. He’s selected to bring him up to speed for the next two games when we’ll need him to be at his best but I’d like to see us start to carry a proper centre replacement on the bench with one I on the not to distant future. It’s been encouraging to see mainly positive comments on all the articles (there’s still the odd parochial idiot). Can’t wait for the kick off.

  7. Oh and as an aside, how refreshing is it that a quote like this comes from the Ireland manager. I can only imagine how great this made Henry feel.. “I think he’s been very correct in how he’s been getting in on the ball, looking to poach opposition ball post-tackle. So there’s been work in progress that he’s done a really good job with. You want to reward people who are working toward improving their game.”

  8. curates_egg

     /  November 8, 2013

    It’s an exciting selection and a very exciting bench: could be a fantastic final third. Really looking forward to this game – first Irish game I have looked forward to in a long time.

    Despite my long-held man crush for the bearded one, it is the one decision that is easy to criticise. Even the argument that he is selected to help ease Jackson’s load isn’t that convincing, as surely it is easier for Jackson to play with a player he knows. If Marshall starts next week, all will be forgiven though.

    The second row point is moot as neither Tuohy, McCarthy or Toner would be in a first matchday XXIII (POC, Ryan and Henderson would). Tuohy does seem unlucky. Despite the fact McCarthy seems to be carrying a knock, he did bring exactly the type of aggression that POC does when he got the chance last year, so seems a good choice at this level. Dev has really improved his game in many areas but I still worry about his scrummaging, even if the new laws seem to have mitigated some of his former weakness in that area. Lineout is one area where we could make hay though, so lets hope he and Best are on the same wavelength.

  9. zdm

     /  November 8, 2013

    It’s a reasonable selection and the marginal calls have gone to through “known unknowns” as Donald Rumsfeld would say.

    I’d like to see us develop more options at 15 as Bob isn’t the automatic choice he once was. I really like Madigan at full back and so did Joe at Leinster so I’d be interested to see if he can make the step up at international level. Gives us two creative outlets and kicking options.

    Good to see Henry get a run – gives us a more balanced back row and is the combination of the best players for each position (v.s. the 3 best flankers shoehorned in).

    Samoa will give us a sterner test than many fans expect – the IRB have again shown their contempt for Pacific Island rugby by giving them Georgia and the French Barbarians (is this a pub team??) For their other Autumn series games.

    • paddy

       /  November 8, 2013

      The only time I can think off Madigan playing fullback for Leinster was when injury forced him there. If Schmidt had options he’d have used them I think. Wouldn’t mind seeing at 12 again

    • jcahill1

       /  November 8, 2013

      The best combination of players for each position imo, is Sean O’Brien at 6, Henry at 7, and Heaslip at 8.

  10. Schmidt obviously rates McCarthy highly as he sought to bring him to Leinster a couple of seasons ago before finally signing him last year. Since then the Leinster backroom staff have decided to force feed Macca, perhaps because they had spare Damien Browne shaped jerseys to use up and they would have looked like a tent on McCarthy.

    Seriously though its a more than a little odd to see a player move to Leinster and see his conditioning and body composition visibly deteriorate, compared to Cronin and Hagan for instance who clearly improved. One hopes that there is at least a long term plan behind the whole thing and McCarthy hasn’t just done a Hatton for no obvious reason.

  11. Scrumdog

     /  November 8, 2013

    Schmidt appears to be selecting his squad because they’ve met the requirements he laid out for them and they are in form. I tend to agree on Touhy’s missing out but he and others may not be ‘ticking’ the required boxes at the moment, to bring what Schmidt wants into a test match. J.S. has a long term plan and likely a Plan A and Plan B and maybe even a Plan C for game day, unlike previous Ireland coaches….and eventually the players who ‘get it’ and ‘buy in’ will start.
    At last…a coach who knows the game and how to coach, highly respected by any players who’ve been connected with him, and one who talks rugby with the public! Irish Rugby is about to be revolutionized, lets enjoy the ride, it wont last forever because next stop for Joe Schmidt will be the All Blacks!

    • Nah, you’re getting ahead of yourself. The plan is that when he finishes with Ireland in 2016 he takes over the Lions tour for 2017, beats New Zealand 3-0 in the test series, THEN takes over New Zealand, THEN conquers the known universe. Or so my Leinster friends tell me, anyways.

      • Scrumdog

         /  November 8, 2013

        The next few months will be very interesting so listen to your Leinster friends and keep an eye on the Ireland squad!

  12. I don’t think you could characterise this as a progressive selection. Clearly it’s a team picked to win the game, with a few players who haven’t trained too much being left out. O’Brien, O’Connell and Sexton were injured, so they’re rested. McGrath for Healy seems to be the only genuine nod to the future. That’s understandable in this instance and in this series.

    He’s had two weeks of prep so he’s picked a Leinster back-line where possible, as they’ll all know the moves. The other units of the team are also fairly familiar with each other, with the possible exception of Murray and Jackson. It’ll be interesting to see how they integrate into a slightly alien system. They’re both young enough to do it, though.

  13. Leinsterlion

     /  November 8, 2013

    Pah, my comment has disappeared, anyway, In summary Samoans big, Irish small, boshfest. ©Conor George.

    Also Tuohy should have started.

  14. Yossarian

     /  November 8, 2013

    Luke Marshall omission seems to be grabbing most peoples attention but joe said it was a tight call and pretty much came down to not wanting Jackson to have an inexperienced 12 outside him.
    Also have people forgotten Marshall’s concussion history?do you really want him put in the Samoan firing line!?!

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