Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Let The Schmidt Hit The Fan - Rd 9 (ULS)

Since the start of the season four bloggers, one representing each province, have taken turns selecting their ideal Irish matchday 23 for a test match to take place the following weekend (so current injury status must be taken into account).

This week it’s the turn of Ulster fan Laura Johnston to look ahead for the Six Nations champions.

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

LTSHTF avatar

Since my last blog, we have had both the Heineken cup Quarter finals and Semi-finals and a few key games in the Pro 12.

From an Ulster point of view I thought the boys played valiantly against Heineken cup finalists Saracens, although they did pick up injuries to key players and the subsequent ban for Jared Payne’s red card has left them weakened. They put in a good shift against our Western cousins Connacht.

Unfortunately they lost to Glasgow and other results really haven’t gone their way. They now face two tough games against Leinster (in front of a full Ravenhill and Mullers last home game) and Munster in Limerick. Now is the time for the likes of Herring, P.Marshall etc to step up and fill the boots of Best, Pienaar etc.

Leinster lost to Heineken cup finalists and current European champions Toulon in France. Unfortunately Munster faced the same fate in sunny Marseille in the Semi-finals. Both played really well, especially Munster who hung in there to the very end, but alas neither could beat the stars of Toulon.

Due to Rory Best picking up an ankle injury against Saracens, I have made two changes to my front row and replacements. Sean Cronin gets promoted to the first team and Munster captain at the weekend Damien Varley comes onto the bench. Strauss and Herring both miss out, but are playing well for their provinces.

  1. Cian Healy

  2. Sean Cronin

  3. Mike Ross

16. Damien Varley

17. Jack McGrath

18. Marty Moore.

Dan Tuohy broke his hand against Saracens, ruling him out for selection. I have kept Toner and O’Connell as my locks and have brought Mike McCarthy on to the bench

  1. Devin Toner

  2. Paul O’Connell

19. Mike McCarthy


Due to Peter O’Mahony, Stephen Ferris and Sean O’Brien being injured, and CJ Stander not being Irish qualified (I’m impressed by him), I have brought Iain Henderson into the no 6 jersey. Tommy O’Donnell is my replacement

  1. Iain Henderson

  2. Chris Henry

  3. Jamie Heaslip

20. Tommy O’Donnell


My half back partnership is again 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 Andrew Trimble and Dave Kearney as my wingers. As much as I would love to bring in Tommy Bowe, I just don’t have the heart to demote Kearney to the bench. So I have put Bowe on the bench, as it’s good to have an experienced winger to come off the bench and add a calm head to the game. Injuries to Fitzgerald and McFadden have ruled them out of selection.

My centre partnership is Gordan D’arcy and Darren Cave. Cave has continued to impress and with the prospect of Jared Payne maybe playing 13 for Ireland next season, I’m sure Darren will try everything in his power to show Schmidt why he should be the heir to O’Driscoll’s shirt. Rob Kearney is still my first choice Ireland full-back.

  1. Dave Kearney

  2. Gordon D’Arcy

  3. Darren Cave

  4. Andrew Trimble

  5. Rob Kearney.

23. Tommy Bowe


Ireland team for “test” next weekend

  1. Cian Healy

  2. Sean Cronin

  3. Mike Ross

  4. Devin Toner

  5. Paul O’Connell

  6. Iain Henderson

  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. Damien Varley

  17. Jack McGrath

  18. Marty Moore

  19. Mike McCarthy

  20. Tommy O’Donnell

  21. Eoin Reddan

  22. Paddy Jackson

  23. Tommy Bowe


@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



Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019