5 Talking Points From Joe Schmidt’s Selection To Play Australia
Joe Schmidt has named his Ireland team for this weekend’s clash with Australia.
Michael Cheika named his side earlier today with Dean Mumm being brought into his Wallaby into his side as he hopes to deal with Ireland’s lineout threat as the All Blacks did this past weekend.
Schmidt is without the injured duo of Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton but CJ Stander and Rob Kearney have been both been passed fit and will take their places in the starting line-up
Keith Earls starts on the wing instead of Simon Zebo while Gary Ringrose comes in to replace Robbie Henshaw. Paddy Jackson takes Johnny Sexton’s spot at 10 while Iain Henderson has ousted Munster’s Donnacha Ryan.
Let’s take a look at the five talking points in relation to his selection.
1. Garry Ringrose at 12.
Schmidt has decided to go with the young Leinster star in the unfamiliar role of inside centre. Ulster pair Luke Marshall and Stuart Olding have been overlooked, with Ringrose given the nod as a result of his excellent performance against New Zealand. Will Schmidt start him in the Six Nations alongside Henshaw when he returns? He has a chance this weekend to stake that claim.
2. Stander starts.
Despite leaving the All Blacks game early in the first-half as a result of a nasty collision with Israel Dagg, Stander starts, with Peter O’Mahony sent back to Munster. Schmidt has Van der Flier and Henderson to cover at six however should Stander not be able to complete the game.
3. Donnacha Ryan dropped.
The Munster lock started both games against the All Blacks and made an appearance against Canada but has been dropped completely from the squad. Schmidt has stated that he looks fatigued and has as a result gone with Henderson to start, with Dillane covering on the bench.
4. Earls over Zebo.
Zebo looked impressive in both All Blacks games but took a bruising in the second test. Earls returned from suspension against Canada, getting on the scoresheet and will be looking to keep his Munster teammate out of the Irish team with a good performance this weekend. Zebo is on the bench so Earls will be fired up even more to play well so he can keep him there for the duration of the game.
5. Jackson starts.
The Ulster playmaker was far from impressive against the All Blacks when he came on for the injured Johnny Sexton. Really needs a good game against the Wallabies this weekend or faces being overtaken by Leinster maestro Joey Carbery.
What do you make of Schmidt’s selection for this weekend? Has he made the right calls in the right areas?