A Look At The Ridiculous Depth Irish Rugby 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.
Three men are set to make their test debuts this weekend, with several more set to debut from the bench. That brings Joe Schmidt’s list of player’s he’s handed debuts to since he took to over to more than thirty.
For Joe Schmidt, along with the likes of David Nucifora, while working hand in hand with the province’s, the goal over the past three years and looking forward to the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been- to build a squad worthy of competing with the very best.
Over the years the top tier one nations have made this a priority. Just look at New Zealand and England right now, and the kind of depth that exists within those nations. Ireland may not have the same resources and pools of players that those two country’s have, but they’re doing a damn good job of build a squad nonetheless.
Coaches like Declan Kidney and Eddie O’Sullivan were criticised for relying on their starting XV too often and the criticism was bang on. Very rarely did Ireland have genuine depth in almost any position, bar maybe back-row, which has never been an issue for the Irish over the years.
Looking at the current crop of players, the depth that exists is frightening. We’ve thrown in a few extra un-capped players too that we think aren’t that far away from a call-up, just to show you the kind of talent at Joe Schmidt’s proposal. We’ve also included some players in two categories to illustrate their utility.
Josh van der Flier
Tyler Bleyendall (2017)
Bundee Aki (2017)
There’s probably more players that we’ve missed, so be sure to let us know in the social comments. Either way, Ireland are shaping up quite well ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Will they finally break the duct and win a quarter final? Stranger things have happened, just ask the All Blacks.