Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Let The Schmidt Hit The Fan - Rd 8 (ULS)

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Since the start of the season four bloggers, one representing each province, have taken turns selecting their ideal Irish matchday 23.

This week our Ulster representative Laura Johnston gives us her post-Six Nations squad.

Click this link for her last selection and these for the latest from Munster, Leinster & Connacht.

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We are 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONS. Yes I know I’m a couple of weeks late but it true, and we did say goodbye to the greatest number 13 to grace the green shirt.

This weekend see’s the return of the Heineken Cup with 3 out of 4 Irish provinces represented. The prize an Irish filled semi-final weekend in Dublin and possibly another all Irish final - a girl can dream.

My front row is again unchanged. Why choose another front row when you have the best one on offer.

My replacements are also unchanged.

  1. Cian Healy

  2. Rory Best

  3. Mike Ross

16. Sean Cronin

17. Jack McGrath

18. Marty Moore.

Thankfully Dan Tuohy’s broken arm is now healed, and hopefully he has a good run in to the end of the season. Because he has only played two games since his return, I am sticking with my second row of Devin Toner and Captain Fantastic himself Paul O’Connell. Dan will be on the bench.

Devin Toner is my replacement lock due to his performance through the six nations.

  1. Devin Toner

  2. Paul O’Connell

19. Dan Tuohy

My back three is again unchanged, unless Peter O’Mahony fails to be fit. It’s good to see Stephen Ferris back on the pitch after 18 months. I’m sure that would make any Ireland fan happy.

Iain Henderson is my replacement due to his versatility.

  1. Peter O’Mahony

  2. Chris Henry

  3. Jamie Heaslip

20. Iain Henderson

My half back partnership is unchanged and my replacements are Eoin Reddan and Paddy Jackson.

  1. Conor Murray

  2. Jonny Sexton

21, Eoin Reddan

22. Paddy Jackson.

I am sticking with Trimble and Dave Kearney as my wingers. They have both been impressive in the air and have made good yards with ball in hand. Tommy Bowe is starting to come back to his old self with Ulster, but I think it would be harsh to drop Kearney and Trimble after such good performances in the Six Nations.

My centre partnership is Gordan D’Arcy and Darren Cave. Cave has impressed in recent months having been overlooked for the six nation’s squad. He hasn’t had as many caps as you would expect for someone as talented as him, but what do you expect when the greatest no 13 of all time plays at the same time as you. I think now is Darren’s time to shine. Rob Kearney is still my first choice Ireland full-back. My replacement back is Fergus McFadden, due to his physicality and versatility across the back line.

  1. Dave Kearney

  2. Gordon D’Arcy

  3. Darren Cave

  4. Andrew Trimble

  5. Rob Kearney.

23. Fergus McFadden.

Ireland team

  1. Cian Healy

  2. Rory Best

  3. Mike Ross

  4. Dan Tuohy

  5. Paul O’Connell

  6. Peter O’Mahony

  7. Chris Henry

  8. Jamie Heaslip

  9. Conor Murray

  10. Jonny Sexton

  11. Dave Kearney

  12. Gordon D’Arcy

  13. Darren Cave

  14. Andrew Trimble

  15. Rob Kearney

  16. Sean Cronin

  17. Jack McGrath

  18. Marty Moore

  19. Devin Toner

  20. Iain Henderson

  21. Eoin Reddan

  22. Paddy Jackson

  23. Fergus McFadden.

@LauraJ2803 is a Ulster rugby season ticket holder and has been for the past 7 years, she has been there through the highs and the lows and is hoping there are plenty more highs to come


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