Deccie’s Zygotic Mynci

The Irish squad for New Zealand is out. Albeit the first cut before the rest of the injuries.

There are 4 places still to be filled: a loose-head prop, likely Brett Wilkinson (it appears Tom Court is rubbish injured), a second row if Paulie doesn’t recover, a back-row if Chris Henry doesn’t make it and a scrum-half if Hugo “Isaac” Boss doesn’t make it i.e. places for Horan, Micko, Tommy O’Donnell and Tomas O’Leary.

Here’s our initial thoughts:

  • It’s good to see Sherry and Fitzpatrick going – tight-head is a place of low depth, but as we have discussed before, we have players, it’s just they don’t get picked, so we can’t know if they are good enough
  • Dan Tuohy (at last!) makes a non-extended squad – let’s hope he gets in the team ahead of Stakhanov.  I know we’re approaching broken record status on this, but O’Callaghan has done very little this season to keep getting picked.  As a senior player in the Ospreys Debacle he was particularly culpable.
  • Kevin McLaughlin is seriously unlucky – his leadership, versatility and form over the last months probably deserved a call-up (admittedly backrow is competitive). Given the usual mounting up of injuries, we still think we will see him out there before the last test
  • Despite being in the best form of his career, there is no place for Paddy Wallace. It seems Darren Cave is a direct replacement, and Earls is a winger again
  • Bob is the only specialist full-back, and it looks like Earls is his backup
  • The squad is short on specialist wingers, but Earls and McFadden are wingers in Deccie’s world
  • Simon Zebo is blessed, Little Bob and (especially) Craig Gilroy are much more rounded players – the All Black wingers will have him for breakfast without so much as a burp. 
  • It’s a real shame Ian Madigan didn’t get the nod.  Unlike many in a breakout season, he has kept his form up right to the end.  It was a real opportunity to bring a player who will go on to win many caps into the fold and show him what it’s all about

All in all, it’s a squad that’s got Deccie written all over it.  It’s nice to see names like Cave, Tuohy and Sherry involved, but we suspect they’ll be spending more of their time familarising themselves with the coffee machines than playing test rugby.  Ah well, we’re used to it by now.