Ireland trims squad for Scotland and Wales clashes

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has trimmed his squad ahead of the Scotland and Wales clashes in the opening two rounds of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations.

There are three uncapped players in the squad – all forwards – of whom two play for Leinster – Jordi Murphy and Martin Moore – and one plays for the Cardiff Blues – Robin Copeland. There is no room for Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy, both of whom are returning from injury but featured in last weekend’s Wolfhounds game against the England Saxons.

Ireland squad for RBS 6 Nations games v Scotland and Wales:

Forwards (18)
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues)*
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster)

Backs (16)
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Luke Marshall (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)

What do you make of the squad? Is there anyone missing that you would have liked to see involved?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

16 thoughts on “Ireland trims squad for Scotland and Wales clashes

  1. I haven’t seen much Rabo rugby, and I know he’s been injured, but why on earth is Zebo not in here? Absolutely class act!

      1. It certainly looks that way. I’m less confident in the Irish being challengers that my original thoughts of this 6N being a very tight 4 way battle.

        1. Ironic though really given all the grief the previous coach got for his Munster bias. Provincial pride perhaps gets in the way a little for Ireland?

          And yes I’m aware that we have the opposite issue in Wales (no “regional” pride so maybe less friction when it comes to national selection) so no need for the Irish internet police to take this as a dig at the Irish setup – I genuinely think there may be an issue with blending the provinces into 1 team?

          1. I dont think there is much bias here. I think Zebo is unlucky but there is no getting away from the fact that he hasnt played a full game since returning from injury. My only qualm would be that mcfadden should be treated the same.

            I think david kilcoyne is unlucky but Archer is not. He is without a doubt one of the worst tight heads about. He cant hold up a scrum and despite his decent work round the park, that isnt good enough for international rugby. Fitzpatrick and Moore are better options.

            Coughlan is unfortunate but copeland was chosen on form.

            I dont think there is provincial bias as we see Cave finally get a chance. It would thought have been nice to see Foley the young second row from Munster in the original squad.

  2. Breaking news – Munster forwards overlooked by selection committee populated by D4 cronies.

    To be fair Murphy is a player for the future and whilst Coughlan is arguably the form 8 after Heaslip in Ireland Coughlan’s exclusion is not surprising.

    Sending home Killer and Archer is brilliant for Munster. As the saying goes, “we’re better when we’re bitter” and these two props comfortably merit a place in the national squad.

    You wear the Red and know you most be 200% better than the other options to get a look in. Just ask Keith Earls’ Dad, the best 7 to never get a cap.

    1. “ou wear the Red and know you most be 200% better than the other options to get a look in” – ok, I think this supports my idea that blending provinces to create a national team looks like a tricky proposition – someone will always view selection through provincial allegiance and assume that X is/isn’t picked because of the province he plays for rather than a genuine selection call. Can’t be healthy for team spirit?

  3. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Brian has a few shockers and Schmidt drops him for the “grudge match”? Schmidt would need to go into the witness protection program if all the idiotic abuse that JD and Gats got is anything to judge by.

  4. What are Ireland going to do when BOD and then maybe/ probably D’arcy retires this side of the World cup. I know England have it bad with callow centres but are Ireland really going into a world cup with a midfield with one 6n behind them? That is also assuming that the heirs apparent dont’ get injured. Okay maybe D’arcy will hang on (but then he only seems to play well with BOD). Or is BOD going to be the James Brown of rugby, reluctantly delaying retirement for one last season (again)…

    1. In regards for centers we have madigan that possibly will play 12, Henderson a ten/12, then luke marshal who will be possibly starting! and mc fad den is a 12 playing on the wing. then 13 is robbie henshaw from connacht great player then payne for ulster will be able to play come the november internationals so he will have a season before world cup and then theirs fitzgearld he’s a possible 13 but prefer him in the 11 shirt.

    2. No we have a number of options, it is just whether Schimdt is willing to drop them.

      I think BOD should be dropped for either Henshaw or Cave as both have showed far superior form this season.

      D’arcy is a more difficult one. Last season i thought he was poor but this year he seems to have achieved a new lease of life. Nonetheless, Ulster have produced two ready made replacements in Stuart Olding and Luke Marshall. Both of whom are excellent prospects. It could be argued that Luke Marshall is ready now.

  5. In reply to some comments above: Zebo is not there because he does not YET have the all round game that Joe Schmidt needs from all players regardless of the number on their back.
    Zebo is a class finisher and can produce bits of magic like no other in the Irish squad.
    However he does need to improve his defensive game and he still looks a bit lost at ruck time.
    Mc Fadden for instance does not have the speed or finishing ability of Zebo but can do more in terms of all round ability.
    This all round ability is what is required in the coaches system.
    At least that is my take on it.
    Schmidt knows what he is doing.
    There is no Leinster bias.
    He will pick guys from anywhere! They just need to fit into what he is doing.
    And in fairness to Schmidt the word on the street is that he explains to the players (in detail) why they did not make the squad and what they need to show improvement in.
    Cant say fairer than that.

    1. You are right. Ireland will be a force this year as long as schmidt isnt scared to drop long time players if they are under-performing.

  6. Zebo could prob do with the break no need to rush him into these games despite playing ok in HC. BOD? Hes still playing well but we need to be thinking about RWC so I would hope to see him coming on as an impact sub.

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