Former Wales Boss On The Three Changes He Would Have Made For Ireland Game
Former Wales boss Mike Ruddock said he would have made three changes to the Wales side that lost to Scotland for this Friday’s clash with Ireland.
Wales interim head coach Rob Howley has instead opted for the same starting XV that couldn’t do the job against Scotland in Murrayfield.
Speaking on the RTÉ Sport Rugby podcast, Ruddock reckons Toby Faletau, Jamie Roberts and Luke Charteris should all be starting agains Ireland. The Wales’ 2005 Grand Slam-winning coach and current Landsdowne boss explained his case for the three players.
“Those are three players there that would make a massive difference,” Ruddock told podcast host Hugh Cahill.
“I would put Jamie straight in. He’s hurting, he’s angry, he’s been on the bench. It’s Lions year. I’d say to him, ‘you’ve had your kick up the backside. Robbie Henshaw is going to be in the Lions unless you get out there today and show what you’re made of’. That would be my pep talk to him.
“The Irish back row is so big and powerful and they’re such big ball carriers that you want the biggest back row you can have against them. I know there’s going to be a fight on the floor as well, but I would have gone for Ross Moriarty at six, Faletau at eight and Warburton at seven.
“It’s more than just the collisions. The bigger guys give you a bigger lift in the lineout, they give you a little more weight in the scrum. Every little 1% really makes a difference.
“I would also have gone for Luke Charteris (in the second row). I coached him at Dragons many years ago and I’ve seen what he can do. I know he’s short of game time but he made a record 31 tackles against Ireland a couple of years ago. He has a great engine and great ability to get low and chop guys down.”
What do you think? Does Ruddock have a point?