Tuesday, June 03, 2014

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

Much like the careers of legends like Brian O’Driscoll, Leo Cullen & Johann Muller, all good things must come to an end and that sadly includes this feature!

Last but certainly not least offering her final opinion ahead of the Argentina tour, it’s Ulster blogger Laura Johnston.

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

LTSHTF avatar

I have been given the honour of bringing the ‘Let the Schmidt hit the fan’ series to a close. Since my last blog the greatest centre of all time has retired and Leinster won yet more silverware (please share it with us), and the squad has been announced for the tour to Argentina.

As Leinster played in the Rabo final last week and as some people have pointed out, the English players who played in the Aviva final are getting a week off . I thought I would give as many first team Leinster boys as possible a week off too. Sorry Leinster fans there won’t be too many boys in blue in my team.

I am also going to base my Ireland team on the squad that is currently on the plane to Argentina. A squad that has already lost Paddy Jackson, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls and Marty Moore to injury.

My Front Row consists of Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Mike Ross. I think this is the best front row Ireland has to offer on tour, with Cian Healy being given a rest and Marty Moore being injured, as I would have picked Marty over Mike ,if fit, to give Mike a rest.

  1. Jack McGrath

  2. Rory Best

  3. Mike Ross

16. Damien Varley

17. David Kilcoyne

18. Rodney Ah You

My second row is made up of Paul O’Connell and Iain Henderson. Devin Toner is on the bench as I am giving him a rest, after last week’s final also think it will be good experience for Henderson, playing alongside O’Connell.

  1. Iain Henderson

  2. Paul O’Connell

19. Devin Toner

My back row is Rhys Ruddock, Chris Henry and Jamie Heaslip with Robbie Diack on the bench.

  1. Rhys Ruddock

  2. Chris Henry

  3. Jamie Heaslip

20. Robbie Diack

My half back partnership is again unchanged and my replacements are Kieran Marmion and Ian Madigan.

  1. Conor Murray

  2. Jonny Sexton

21, Kieran Marmion

22.Ian Madigan.

I am sticking with Ireland and Ulster player of the year Andrew Trimble on one wing and Simon Zebo is on the other. Unfortunately Dave Kearney picked up a nasty injury against Ulster and is unable to travel. Speedy recovery Dave 

My centre partnership is Ulster Centres Luke Marshall and Darren Cave. Cave has continued to impress with Ulster and in my option deserves his chance in the Ireland no 13 shirt. Rob Kearney is still my first choice Ireland full-back but as he played in the Rabo final last week, I am going to start with Felix Jones and give Rob a rest on the bench.

  1. Simon Zebo

  2. Luke Marshall

  3. Darren Cave

  4. Andrew Trimble

  5. Felix Jones

23. Rob Kearney

Ireland team for 1st Pumas Test

  1. Jack McGrath

  2. Rory Best

  3. Mike Ross

  4. Iain Henderson

  5. Paul O’Connell

  6. Rhys Ruddock

  7. Chris Henry

  8. Jamie Heaslip

  9. Conor Murray

  10. Jonny Sexton

  11. Simon Zebo

  12. Luke Marshall

  13. Darren Cave

  14. Andrew Trimble

  15. Felix Jones

  16. Damien Varley

  17. Dave Kilcoyne

  18. Rodney Ah You

  19. Devin Toner

  20. Robbie Diack

  21. Kieran Marmion

  22. Ian Madigan

  23. Rob Kearney

@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

Many thanks to Laura and also Connachtman, Iain and Kate for all their excellent contributions to this project throughout the season.

The makeup of any team will always be the subject of debate among fans but to actually put your name to your opinions and have them published throughout the season takes a great deal of courage so bravo to all four of them.

Sadly this is not the only HarpinOnRugby feature to come to a close, more on that tomorrow…


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