Friday, May 23, 2014

Let The Schmidt Hit The Fan - Rd 10 (LEIN)

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 our Leinster representative Iain O'Connor to offer his matchday 23. 

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

LTSHTF avatar

So what kind of year has it been? 6 Nations Champs. Leinster can salvage what is a disappointing season in the Rabo final, Munster had a few good results but on the whole disappointed, Ulster will probably feel they were cheated in the H Cup and underperformed slightly on where they should be and Connaught showed some spark but didn’t do much. Oh and we almost beat the All Blacks and some centre retired.

So basically a bloody good year for the green. A lot of bloody good youngsters stood up, Henry and Toner to name just 2, and some of the old heads showed why they shouldn’t be written out just yet, Best and Darcy spring to mind making selections for this bloody near impossible most months. I have decided to make it slightly easier this time; Joe has picked his squad for Argentina and I am picking the team. I disagree with a lot of his squad, one centre/wing/tragedy in particular, but I will pick within it for this.

I have gone with a mix of experience and youth in the starting team and on the bench. I am not guaranteeing a win against the Pumas, those are hard to come by lately, but I would say the W doesn’t matter. This comes down to performance at the expense of results.

  1. J McGrath – Has had a good season. Needs game time on the big stage and this is his chance. Healy gets a well earned rest

  2. R Best – Some experience wedged in the middle of a young front 3.

  3. M Moore – Along the same lines as McGrath. Very few will argue with his inclusion and will go well for the experience.

  4. D Toner – Seems like he has been around for a while but could do with bulking up his cap count. Last years tour was about him standing up and being noticed. This year it is all about others following his example.

  5. P O’Connell – Personally would have left him at home. He will pass on some bits to the younger lads but I think he could better do with a rest. Still if he is there you gotta play him.

  6. R Ruddock – Next seasons Chris Henry. Given the chance he will do serious things.

  7. C Henry – This seasons Chris Henry. As with Dev T needs to up his cap count. Diack to feature heavily too.

  8. J Heaslip – Again I would have left him at home as I think Murphy could do with the game time. He is going so I would play him half and half with Jordi.

  9. K Marmion – Is he the next big thing? Maybe, maybe not. Give him a few games and see what happens. He can’t be worse than whats there at the moment

  10. J Sexton - Leads a very young back line for me. Solid head to guide the others through. With Jacksons back issue Madigan plays understudy and I expect him to feature a lot. Expect lots of “Sexton Wrecked by being in France and having to deal with currency exchange” headlines if it doesn’t go our way.

  11. A Trimble – Would have left him at home as he had a big season. Zebo will be given a chance to get over hyped and do comparatively very little by Joe but I don’t think he is good enough. If anybody mentions “x factor” or “spark” here I swear I will shove a flaming Simon Cowell up their nose.

  12. L Marshall – Could do with uninterrupted game time. Needs to stay fit and concussion free for both tests.

  13. R Henshaw – And first to try and fill his shoes is…. Looking forward to seeing what he can do. Has decided to stay put in Conn for a while longer and hopefully it is the right decision for Ireland and himself.

  14. F Mc Fadden – Can move into centre if the inevitable happens to Marshall. Very worthy of a spot. Often overlooked.

  15. R Kearney – Last bit of experience in the team. Would be nice to see him take a role as a leader more often.

  16. D Varley

  17. M Ross

  18. D Kilcoyne

  19. R Diack

  20. D CAve

  21. C Murray

  22. P Jackson

With this being my last one of these I would like to say thanks to Harpin for giving me the space and you people for reading. I will also point out that during this I have been called Pro Leinster, Anti Leinster, Anti Ulster, Pro Ulster, Anti Munster and Pro Connaught. That doesn’t really sum it up. I am just Pro Ireland. I am not really anti anybody to be honest. Well… other than Keith Earls.

Iain O’Connor (@iain_not_ian) is a Leinster fan who should have retired from playing bad standard rugby years ago. Part time stand up comedian and full time radio person he is the presenter and creator of Heave, a schools rugby show on Dublin South FM. He also likes rugby league and names Alisona Taumalolo as his hero.


Many thanks again to Iain for all the selections throughout the season! 

Next week it’s the turn of Munster fan Kate McEvoy…

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