A Detailed Look At The Depth Ireland Now Has In Each Position
Teams don’t win World Cup’s, squads do.
Joe Schmidt has now been in charge of Ireland for just over three years. In that time he has brought Ireland two six nations titles, lead them to a Rugby World Cup quarter final and defeated the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years.
The one thing that has been a huge issue for Irish teams over the years is depth in each position. Ireland has always been able to produce world-class stars over the years such as Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll to name but two.
The issue however is as soon as a couple of injuries started building up, Ireland just didn’t have the depth there to overcome them. Last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter final was a testament to that. The game was there for the taking, but once again Ireland stumbled.
Last week against the Wallabies, Joe Schmidt’s men lost Sean O’Brien before the game and Johnny Sexton early on. That followed with more injuries in the back-line with the likes of Trimble and Payne going off, leaving Ireland with an outhalf at fullback and a scrumhalf on the wing.
Despite that, Ireland still hung on an beat a Wallabies side that were unbeaten in their European tour and not too long ago competing in a Rugby World Cup final. The old Ireland would have crumbled, because the depth just wasn’t there.
Here’s the kind of depth Schmidt now has in each position.
Rodney Ah You
Josh van der Flier
Tyler Bleyendall (2017?)
Bundee Aki (2017?)