Pass the Parcel

Ireland look set to keep changes to a minimum today, with the returning Rory Best being brought into the front row and Gordon D’arcy is likely to squeeze in ahead of the increasingly impressive Stuart Olding at centre.

It’s the sort of selection we’ve become used to in Ireland where the pecking order of players remains relatively static. Sean Cronin is brilliant in the loose and Richardt Strauss is showing signs of returning to his best form, but Rory Best is one of the team’s foundations, so if he’s fit, he plays. Just throw the ball in straight, Rory!

It’s a similar story in Wales, where Gatland has stuck with what is recognisable as his best team. All the usuals are there and in spite of Liam Williams’ good form, it would take a crowbar to get Alex Cuthbert, George North or Leigh Halfpenny out of the team. Jamie Roberts and JJV Davies are longstanding as his preferred centre partnership and we all know how good they can be. In the backrow it’s the same. Everyone loves hipster’s choice Justin Tipuric for his electric line-breaks and incredible hands, but Sam Warburton is Gatland’s captain and a cornerstone of the team. Lydiate, Warburton and Faletau is enshrined as Gatland’s backrow of choice in Welsh rugby law.

Wales and Ireland have relatively small playing pools, so there can be a gulf between the best fifteen or twenty players, and the next best 10 or so. It means coaches tend to be more loyal to their players; sometimes to a fault in the case of Declan Kidney’s post-2009 selections (see: O’Leary, Tomas). Mike Phillips has done little or nothing in club rugby for years, but Gatland stuck with him throughout that period – until this season when Rhys Webb is finally ready to play test rugby.

Over in England and France, the pecking order in key positions in the team is altogether more fluid, and they’re not always the better for it. England are currently amid a mini-crisis. Has the gloss and sense of feelgood ever come off a team as quickly? From this perspective, their media appeared overconfident going into this series and the group of players available to them looked far from being world-beaters. Their death-by-a-thousand-cuts loss to New Zealand and tactically inflexible defeat to South Africa have brought them down to earth. ‘How long have we tied Lancaster down until again?’ Er, 2020.

Still, the thing for Lancaster is he can always change the team. They have such a depth of moderately talented players that if someone has a bad game or two, there’s always someone in decent enough form to put in his place. Danny Care was among England’s best players in the Six Nations and the thought of dropping him then seemed a world away. But memories are short and Care hasn’t been at his best so far this series. So he’s out! ‘Care’s out of form’, goes the line, ‘so we should play Youngs, Wigglesworth, one of the Dicksons, Shaun Perry, Andy Gomarsall or whoever, instead of him’. None of those players are as good as Danny Care – in fact only Ben Youngs gets even close – but never mind, let’s change it up anyway!

It leads to a pass-the-parcel approach to selection that isn’t necessarily all that beneficial. Lots of scrum-halves have had a stint in the England team and each has followed the same pattern: looks Tha Biz for a while, before not looking as good for a bit, finding themselves dumped out of the team, before the same pattern recurs for someone else and the original fellow finds himself recalled, and the cycle continues. If Conor Murray had two poor games on the trot – unlikely and all as that seems – the chances of him being thrown out of the team for Reddan, Marmion, Boss or Peter Stringer would be remote.

If things are bad at scrum half for England, they are worse again at centre, where this infurating approach has pretty much been in place since Will Greenwood retired. Riki Flutey, Jamie Noon, Anthony Allen, Ollie Smith, Shontayne Hape, Matt Banahan, and so on and so on the list of modest footballers who had a go at centre for a few games before the next chap came along is a long one.

In France the approach to selection is even worse, and has at times seemed to be something approaching a lottery. France have had a run of madcap selectors dating back to Bernard Laporte; scrum halves playing 10, seemingly outstanding players overlooked for tradesmen, world-class centres on the wing; they’ve had it all.

That said, there’s a time to make brave selectorial decisions, and if England really do have world cup winning aspirations, there are two things they absolutely must do. The first is pick Steffon Armitage, the world-class openside who has dominated the Heineken Cup with Toulon in recent seasons, and the other is to get Owen Farrell out of the team – for his own sake as well as that of the team – playing a player into form, when it doesn’t work, destroys the player (see: O’Leary, Tomas).

For some reason, the coach appears tied to the vastly overrated Farrell, but the case for George Ford as a long-term solution at 10 is compelling enough to give him a run in the team. Ford has a way to go before becoming a complete player, but he is capable of far more in attack already than Farrell ever will be. The team for Samoa has got this half-right at best. Ford starts at 10, but Farrell remains in the team at 12. The word was it was goal-kicking related, but they aren’t that different this season – Ford is 25/33 (76%) this season, while Farrell is 9/11 (82%), essentially there is one missed kick between them. So why is he there? It has the look of selection by committee.

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41 Comments

  1. I wonder if Lancaster has reached his limit as a coach? England improved initially when he came on board but that could have been just the result of a bit of structure and team ethos after the apparent shambles of RWC 2011. With England’s depth of squad and bosh, they will always be pretty competitive, and don’t seem to have the psychological issue Ireland have with enzed but they don’t seem to have the skills or the smarts to consistently compete at the very top level. Joe Schmidt appears to be applying the skills and smarts to Ireland in a way that Lancaster isn’t for England.

    • Leinsterlion

       /  November 20, 2014

      I reckon his backroom staff have reached their limit tbh. I would sack all of them and start again.

  2. Of course the (very persuasive) counter-argument is Ireland’s 2007 RWC campaign and the untouchables selection policy.

    • Absolutely! We referenced Kidney post-2009 as being unchanging ‘to a fault’ but the same applies to the 2007 fiasco. #eddie’suntouchables

  3. Yossarian

     /  November 20, 2014

    Farrell=Dad the coach. Explains it all about his continued selection.

    Englands rugby league style defence(using rugby league players in Eastmond/Ashton)was exposed in NZ last summer.

    Lancaster was a good guy to turn around the general rot that had set in. England beat the teams they *should beat. But he doesn’t seem to have the nous to beat the teams just ahead of them. When Brad Barret is your 13 you are in damage limitation tertitory while hoping to kick your way to victory with a big pack. Problem is Farrell ain’t Wilko.
    A large pool of players of similar ability leads to selection options but not to a team that can upset the top table.

    • “Lancaster was a good guy to turn around the general rot that had set in. England beat the teams they *should beat. But he doesn’t seem to have the nous to beat the teams just ahead of them.”

      This is it Yossarian. His most notable achievement has been to reinstate a decent work ethic and get together a team that the fans can at least be proud to call their own. But he hasn’t shown himself to be the most strategically dynamic coach; the substitutions-by-numbers in the Six Nations exposed him a bit.

  4. ehhweasel

     /  November 20, 2014

    I think Farrell is worth a go at 12 for England. He does bring something to the table even if he’s not a natural 10 (…at all) but I think he’s no worse than 36. I’d favour Kyle Eastmond outside him as Barritt sends a clear message that you’re not going to try anything in attack. I would expect Farrell to be a fairly solid operator, leaving Ford and Eastmond to provide the attacking flair on either side of him.

    When I’ve seen Ford from the sidelines he has been very impressive, even when you know what to expect. He has a great ability to make something from nothing, his solo try against Harlequins at the end of last season being a fine example. His goal kicking is improving but I still wouldn’t put my house on him, so I can understand the reservations of the England selectors (yes, including Farrell’s dad). He looks a cut above the stream of moderately talented 10s since Johnny (Toby Flood, Danny Cipriani, Shane Geraghty, Freddie Burns, Stephen Myler) and having Farrell at 12 is better than not having Ford in the team at all!

    Speaking of the England centre conveyor belt, I would add that Jamie Noon and Matthew Tait were supposed to seamlessly replace Tindall & Greenwood, remember?

  5. Bowe Gathers

     /  November 20, 2014

    Part of the English problem is lacking a real cutting edge offensively, be it from outsmarting or out skilling opponents. Their centre partnership has been particularly tedious for ages, with Barret in particular trying to bore teams to death. This and old, old failings (like Hartley being anywhere near a pitch, media overhype thne media overcriticism) mean that they’re stalling hard.

  6. hulkinator

     /  November 20, 2014

    The main reason that the team isn’t changing that much is mainly down to young players getting chances in the provinces. Dave Foley have gotten their chance this season in their provinces and now have made their Ireland debuts.

    Henshaw is the youngest player to break into the Ireland team in a while and thats because he has been playing for Connacht regularly. Others like Olding are not first choice players for their provinces so you can understand Schmidt wanting to wait a while on them.

    Wales are different in that they don’t have as much depth and Gatland’s main concern is size. So picking the biggest team possible means picking smaller players goes against his philosophy.

    • Yep, you imagine that especially in Ulster’s case being able to field a fairly full strength squad (despite some positioning quibbles, not sure about Ludik on the wing, would rather see Scholes there) is a boon considering the lead the the Ospreys have built up in the table.

      I wouldn’t say Olding isn’t first choice, I reckon he’s very much in the same boat as Madigan at the minute in that he’s one of our best players so if we can fit him in at 12, 15 or off the bench at 10 then happy days. As much as I’d prefer him to line out alongside Henshaw for Ireland, there’ll be plenty of time in the 6 Nations to push for a place.

      I think that Lancaster has gotten the short end of the stick in terms of external issues recently (Premiership final the week before touring, Ford being injured before the NZ tour, playing the ABs and SA first up in the Autumn, not to mention standard English sports media), but he is probably afraid of dropping players. I wouldn’t put money on Ford starting the Australia test to get more experience, for instance, or the first choice back row ever not involving Wood, Vunipola and Robshaw.

      I do think there’s a bit of a danger of getting untouchables, but I can’t imagine Joe isn’t pragmatic enough to recognise that someone isn’t performing and drop them. I’d agree that Gatland definitely has a one track mind. He said to the media this week that the key to playing the All Blacks is retaining possession and being direct, which sounds to me like basically the story of the Wales gameplan for the last six years. If there’s a coach between Gatland and Lancaster that should be more worried for their job post-RWC, I’d go with Gatland.

  7. D6W

     /  November 20, 2014

    To be honest, don’t really know how Best coming back from Injury can drop right in ahead of Cronin. Cronin has played very well, so it seems to be a case of form being ignored in favour of pecking order. Very Kidney-esque/EOS-esque.

    • Cronin wasn’t that effective around the park against SA I thought, and considering that’s what he’s known for, not exactly a good marker to lay down. Coming on late against tired/weakened Georgians probably didn’t do a huge amount for his stock either. Best is probably there to help compete at the breakdown and to shore up the scrum that little bit more. Not saying it’s the call I would have made (I would probably have kept Cronin on to give him a bit more experience and since the game will probably be more open it would suit his style of play more), but I can kind of see the reasons for it.

      • D6W

         /  November 20, 2014

        I just think parachuting a player returning from injury straight into starting position at the expense of a player doing well, is a poor precedent to continue. And Cronin did do well. Georgia didn’t count, and against SA threw relatively well facing the best lineout operator in the world. And no problem with his hooking, something he was criticised for on this forum.

        • I don’t think the argument really stacks up D6W. Selection of rugby teams is a dark art involving a blend of form, combinations, experienceand gameplanning. Certain players have earned the trust of the management that even if they’re straight back from injury, they get picked. Think about it this way: if Sexton or O’Connell came back from a three-week injury, even if the incumbent had played well, you’d put Sexton or O’Connell back into the team without thinking twice about it. Best may not quite be in the same class as those two but he’s not far off; one of our pack leaders, one of our toughest players and a key component of the scrum and breakdown. Cronin is a brilliant player in several facets of the game, but if you’re in trench warfare, Besty is probably the first man you’d want by your side.

          • D6W

             /  November 21, 2014

            I disagree, although I am probably in the minority. If a player knows that he is only starting because the No. 1 is injured, and he will be dropped when No. 1 is declared fit, where is the motivation? Where is the incentive to go out and be as good as they possibly can be? Where is the incentive for the No. 1 to push as hard as possible to win back shirt when he knows coach will hand it to him anyway? Even in the hypothetical you gave, I would start them both on the bench. Look at BNZ. Carter did not drop back into No. 10 shirt, he has had to wait for his opportunity.

        • I’d say you’re underestimating Schmidt in your assessment (hey, we’ve all been there!). By all accounts he is very forthright in explaining to players exactly what to do in order to get picked. I can’t imagine for a moment that Cronin hasn’t been given motivational pointers for improvement by the coaches. He doesn’t look like a player going through the motions.

          Cronin has a lot to improve on if he is to be as good as Rory Best; just because he isn’t as good as him today doesn’t mean he won’t some day get to the level where he gets the nod.

  8. I don’t really get the Farrell barracking, maybe he’s a hipster choice! Personally I was very impressed when he led Saracens to win the Premiership final at 19 (20?) and he’s continued to produce at a high level. He has no problem with physicality, he looks like he has a great attitude and by reputation is a big positive in the dressing room.

    Scott Allen outlines what to expect from Cheika’s Wallabies here http://www.theroar.com.au/2014/10/29/can-expect-cheika-led-wallabies/ with this excerpt of particular relevance “the third key element of the McKenzie game plan was having two playmakers in the team so that there wasn’t too much reliance on a single playmaker who may not be able to get into position fast enough to allow ‘continuous’ play.”

    If anything, his selection of Ford beside Farrell is late or was delayed by Ford’s shoulder injury, I’d have had him in during the Six Nations http://dementedmole.com/2014/02/19/wor-roses-lancasters-men/

    In a similar vein I was hoping to see Olding selected between Sexton and Henshaw against Australia. It’s a fine line; D’Arcy obviously still cuts it, probably due to being so strong at the breakdown, but Olding has years in front of him…I think Olding will be there by the end of the Six Nations.

  9. A big amount of the praise for Lancaster is because he’s a relatively decent/dull guy – but he’s also stage-managed his own PR meticulously with endless bullshit about Dave Brailsford and Gary Neville and ex-soldiers coming in to talk to the team, etc etc etc, dunno if pompous humblebragging is more annoying than the more traditional pompous hype.

    I’m sure he’s grand but he also has tended to keep going on about what a young team they are, ad infinitum, finally he’s been called out on this. Fact is, it’s always been in his interests to keep lowering expectations, he didn’t do it out of a need to restore pride to the red rose, maybe that’s more clear now.

  10. Scrumdog

     /  November 20, 2014

    Best offers additional leadership, highly rated scrummaging ability and gets stuck into rucks in a big way. Cronin is brilliant off the bench and this bench for the Oz game has many ball carriers…..now what could the plan be..an off-loading final quarter?

  11. Leinsterlion

     /  November 20, 2014

    I would rather see an English approach to selection you outlined, you play shit, you are dropped, come back when you have some form. Far too many Irish players have a handful of easy caps because their face fit and no other reason, *cough* *cough* POMs first twenty caps *cough* ,*cough*.

    • Ross Christie (@krustie92)

       /  November 20, 2014

      Matt Williams wrote an article about why this doesn’t work in IT (I think) a few week agos. When you touring years ago debutantes could be handed a start as dirt tracker provincial teams and allowed to fail. Now with so few international game that just isn’t there. So guys need to be given a chance to prove themselves.

      England have done essentially what you said and how’s that going? Even allowing for Tuilaigi being injured they still haven’t found a first choice 12.

      Sexton and Murray most likely wouldn’t be the players they are today if they hadn’t been backed.

      • osheaf01

         /  November 21, 2014

        LeinsterLion thinks Murray is (still) utterly rubbish, so I wouldn’t quote Murray to him as an argument for Ireland’s “backing” potential players who aren’t quite worth their place on performance.

        • Leinsterlion

           /  November 21, 2014

          Everyone focuses on the Munster players I pick on for not being up to it at whatever point I criticise them, you completely ignore players I was even harsher on, Toner for example, go back to the 12/13 WOC pre season review for Leinster or any of the Irish squads he was named in and read my opinion.

          Murray has never played a high tempo game, outside of being asked to play as a prototypical Bok-esque 9, which he does very very well in the past few games since last years 6N, if we are playing that way fine, he is the man for the job on form and evidence. The fact he hasnt been asked to do more is telling, he is not a complete 9.

          • “Murray has never played a high tempo game”

            It’s statements like these, which fly in the face of easily available evidence, that make it impossible to ever take anything you say seriously.

          • Leinsterlion

             /  November 21, 2014

            Example of an international game where Murray has been like lightning getting the ball away from the ruck all day.

          • osheaf01

             /  November 24, 2014

            “been like lightning getting the ball away from the ruck all day.”

            If that’s the only selection criterion for a scrum-half, what’s Peter Stringer up to these days?! Presumably you think Paul Marshall should be the starting Ireland scrum-half? Where’s Dwayne Peel gone for Wales? Fourie du Preez is one of the best scrummies I’ve ever seen, and he’s not noted for his lightning pass – maybe that is the Bok way, as you say.

            A quick pass is important, but it’s not the only criterion for playing “a high tempo game” – the quality of rucking and ball presentation are just as important. Whoever is the BNZ scrum-half gets an armchair ride in this respect.
            More importantly, a “high tempo game” a mindset. I don’t think anyone could accuse Ireland of having played a “slow game” in the first half on Saturday; ironically, slowing it down worked for us in the second half.

    • I think thats unfair to POM , I wasnt his biggest fan originally , I thought he was over aggressive and a liability , but I was wrong(He gives away very little) , He ticks all the boxes for a 6 IMO , Hes abrasive and passionate ,a menace at the breakdown and in the lineout , He carries reasonably well but that will Improve , his handoff is a weapon , and hes got pace , then you consider hes only 25 and will only add natural bulk over the next two to three years and you must find that blooding him early and getting him into games was a great move by kidney(although in fairness for the first ten he was pretty useless) Hes also lauded for a being a great leader so happy days.

      I would like to see him tackle more , and more aggressively though.

      Australia is a tough assignment and Id have like to see O’Donnell play 7 , and Foley instead of Toner , simply for mobility and both are in form , I think Best and Darcy are good choices and will vindicate themselves , and as someone mentioned above Ireland may be planning a last 1/4 offloading game and suprise the Aussies…Id love that.

      Im not a Munster fan by the way , Im a four provinces fan from Leinster.

    • I don’t think that chopping and changing selection based on a poor game or two has any real precedent of success. I just don’t think players – or indeed, any people in any job – respond very well to that type of management.

      I also think you’ve countered your own argument. If you look at players like O’Mahony and Murray, they had some issues early in their careers, but by trusting them, Ireland are now reaping the benefits. We shared some of your concerns abut O’Mahony in his early career, but I don’t really think you can question his value to the team now, especially the way Schmidt has deployed him. Conor Murray has delveloped into an elite scrum half, one of the best around. Devin Toner is anopther who was frustrating to watch for a while but by persevering with him, Ireland are now benfiting hugely.

      One example where an Irish coach did chop and change based on form was Kidney’s use of Sexton and O’Gara. It was a lamentable failure, as neither player really felt they had the trust of the coach.

      • D6W

         /  November 21, 2014

        But the alternative is having “Untouchables”. That didn’t work out out well for us either. Rather than compare to England, should compare to BNZ. No All Black has a chance to have 2 bad games in a row.

      • Leinsterlion

         /  November 21, 2014

        Problem with the Sexton/Rog analogy is; Rog was done, it was a blatant case of provincialism over form. Remember how long he was wheeled out for, well over three years past his sell by date by the time he was mercifully sent to the glue factory.
        Murray, Toner, Pom and (lets not forget a player dropped for years) Trimble all turned into the players they are due to playing for their province, not due to being badly exposed at international level.
        As D6W points out not many nzrs survive two bad games, but by the same token its a revolving door, fix your problems and ypu get selected, dont, best start learning Japanese Issac Ross.
        Selection is far too static in Irish rugby.

        • I agree with you guys in one sense, and if you look at Deccie’s regime post 2009 and Eddie’s in the last couple of years, selection of teams was pretty terrible, with way too much loyalty to certain names and form became far too secondary. There’s a balance to be struck, unquestionably. But as above, there are certain names that any coach will pick even if they’re a little out of form, just back from injury etc. We all know who they are, the Sextons, Heaslips and O’Connells of this world.

          Leinsterlion, saying ROG/Sexton was ‘provincial bias’ is just daft. Whatever about Kidney’s failings, do you really believe he picked lads because of their accent? I don’t think he ever had anything other than the team’s interests at heart, but I agree that he often selected poorly. The Sexton/ROG issue as I understand it was that he wante Sexton’s defensive strengths in the team, but in attack wanted him to play a very different game to that which came naturally to him. As a result, Sexton’s form stuttered a bit in green and Kidney ended up coming back to the comfort blanket of ROG a lot. It was a shambles for sure.

          • osheaf01

             /  November 21, 2014

            The problem with the Sexton/ROG issue is that, though Sexton was a far better player in most respects than late-stage ROG (ROG in the mid noughties is a different matter), Sexton was (and still is) one rung below top international quality when it comes to goalkicking. This can be costly, as the BNZ game last year illustrated. It’s holding Keatley back, and he’s nowhere near as good at the other aspects of the game. Whereas, Madigan is a deadly goalkicker and marvellously talented to boot – his problem is game management, and that will come with experience.
            Goalkicking is what has kept Farrell in the England team, to be honest.

          • I think Sexton is inching closer to being at the top rung of goal-kickers. He’s been improving consistently (I think his accuracy was 40% in one of his earlier 6 Nations? and it’s only gone up since), and his 100% haul against South Africa, with a number of tricky kicks, gave the impression of a guy who’s completely confident in his ability. That’s mostly down to him, of course, and I’ve no intention of detracting from the credit he gets for improving his game to the world-class level it’s at now, but I suspect having O’Gara as a coach has helped. (It’s also evident in his territorial kicking; that beautiful spiral kick over Habana’s head, for example.)

  12. Buccaneer

     /  November 20, 2014

    I can understand Best coming back in for reasons mentioned above. Cronin is a fantastic bench option and is genuinely an important squad member. Its D’Arcy I have a problem with. Does nothing going forward except looking for contact on or behind the gain line and his legs are gone. No more a solid defender than madigan or olding. There is leadership aplenty in the back line with Sexton/Bowe/Kearny, with Murray about to join the leadership/decision making cadre.

    I’d like to see a selection gamble for this one in the shape of Madigan/Olding and Henshaw. It would be a very progressive selection. We have our SH scalp and anyone would have taken two wins from the series.

    • Hairy Naomh Mhuire

       /  November 21, 2014

      Joe is not anyone & I suspect that he had three wins in mind even before SA (unlike the rest of us). Joe seems to have firmly nailed his colours to the mast as regards Madigan playing at 10 which means the choice is between D’Arcy & Olding. Toomua at 12 is a big challenge & considering that Olding has not played a huge amount of rugby for Ulster over the last 18 months or more, I think the experience of D’Arcy starting alongside Henshaw with Olding (+ Madigan + Cronin) available off the bench seems reasonable.

  13. zdm

     /  November 20, 2014

    Best has been dropped in because he simply fitsIt he Irish fame plan better. Best was born to play a team like Australia and I can’t see how they will cope with the raw, unrefined power he brings to the loose.

    Isn’t it great that the calls are marginal though – if Cronin had retained his place, you could at least argue the case, unlike the examples above from previous regimes.

  14. ruckinhell

     /  November 21, 2014

    As I see it Lancaster’s issue is that he has one top class centre (Manu T) and a group of centres and half backs who are all quite good but not complete players with significant weaknesses in their game- Burrell, Eastmond, Barrett, Joseph, 12Trees, Farrell, Ford, Care, Youngs. Injuries have robbed him of a chance to select what I think is his preferred combo (Manu T at 13 outside a distributor/playmaker, perhaps Kyle Eastmond at this rate but Farrell may also be an option.Billy 12Trees was the preferred option but doesn’t seem to have the nous or neck for top level rugby). Ditto at 10 and 9, where each of the options has some great upsides but a few bad habits or weaknesses. Farrell was poor against SA and NZ in Twickers and I don’t think it helps that his father is a coach. It puts both guys in a difficult position, especially when England aren’t getting results. Ford looks a more assured ball player and may be the guy needed to get the backline ticking.

    It’s fashionable to lambast Lancaster at the moment but he’s done a huge amount right for England in terms of selection, direction and PR popularity (let’s not forget the shite they had been getting up to when he took over!). He also masterminded a 38-21 victory over the All Blacks which is something that we’ve never done so I wouldn’t break out in condescending and patronising tones too swiftly. England have played 4 in a row against NZ and one against the number 2 side in the world. A good performance against Samoa and a win against Oz and I think their ledger looks a bit more positive. In relation to the RWC, I wouldn’t write England off just yet, they will be playing at home and they have a pack that can live with anyone and that gets you a long way in the World Cup. Get their midfield sorted and settled and they’ll not be a team that anyone wants to face.

    • Hairy Naomh Mhuire

       /  November 21, 2014

      I would also reference last two 6N performances against Ireland in Lancaster’s defence.

    • Xyz

       /  November 21, 2014

      Spot on.

    • osheaf01

       /  November 21, 2014

      England are badly missing Launchbury, who’s the one player that Ireland, if there was an international transfer market, should break the bank for.

  15. jlo

     /  November 21, 2014

    I’m with Buccaneer D’Arcy should have gone with BOD he cack without him

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