Picking An Ireland Team To Take On Canada This Weekend
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Now that the historic Ireland and All Blacks game in Chicago is over, it’s time to start looking forward to this weekend.
The Irish stars on Saturday put on an absolute masterclass at Soldier Field in what can only be described as one of the most complete Ireland performance’s in recent history. After 111 years and 29 attempts, New Zealand have finally been beaten.
This weekend however Ireland welcomes much lighter opposition in the form of Canada. This is no insult to the Canadians, but lets be honest here- they’re no All Blacks. Ireland are no strangers to the opposition either, having faced them in the group stages of last year’s Rugby World Cup, running out 50-7 victors.
Following the amazing win, Schmidt can now use this weekend to give his senior players a much needed rest and give the lesser experienced players some game time at international test level. It’s also an opportunity to get the likes of Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien back fit and up to match speed for Ireland.
Schmidt has brought in six extra player’s to the squad with the likes of in-form Dave Kilcoyne and Connacht duo Niyi Adeolokun and Tiernan O’Halloran joining up with the squad in Dublin. Here’s the XV we reckon he should go with this weekend.
1. Dave Kilcoyne
The Munster loosehead has been in devastating form recently, bagging two tries this past Friday against Ospreys in a mammoth performance. Deserves an opportunity this weekend to try and work his way back in Joe Schmidt’s plans.
2. Sean Cronin
The Leinster man will add some much needed experience to what we propose is a relatively inexperienced side for the game.
3. John Ryan
The Munster tighthead is reborn this season, demolishing the Glasgow pack a few weeks back and leaving the pitch to a standing ovation. It’s now or never for the Munster man.
4. Billy Holland
Another man that seems to have found a new lease of life. His first-call up to an Irish team at 31, it’s time to give Billy his shot in green.
5. Ultan Dillane
The young star still only has six caps for Ireland. This is a perfect opportunity to get him some much needed international caps under his belt
6. Peter O’Mahony
O’Mahony has made a flying start since returning from a long-term injury that saw him miss all of last season. Was left out of the Chicago trip as he returned to full match fitness with his province. Time to get him up to speed an into a green jersey.
7. Sean O’Brien
Another senior player who has only recently returned from a long-term injury. Has a few games under his belt now with Leinster, the next step is the international fold.
8. CJ Stander
It’s time to see what CJ Stander can do at 8 for Ireland. Heaslip won’t be around forever and Stander has proved with Munster that he can compete with the very best in this position A back-row of O’Mahony, O’Brien and Stander is something all Irish fans want to see.
9. Luke McGrath
The Leinster scrumhalf has been in good form this season, with Murray needing a rest ahead of the return All Blacks fixture. Marmion could also slot in here, either way Murray should be rested.
10. Joey Carberry
The New Zealand born playmaker made his debut against the All Blacks, coming on for the last twenty minutes, grabbing his first points. The young star has a bright future and already looks ready to make his full debut.
11. Niyi Adeolokun
The Connacht winger has been fantastic for the western province over the last couple of seasons and has finally made an Ireland squad. Time to see what he’s made of on the international scene. A deadly finisher with lighting pace, deserves a shot.
12. Luke Marshall
The Ulster centre has impressed every time he has put on a green jersey. Henshaw needs a rest, time for the Ulsterman to stand up.
13. Garry Ringrose
The Leinster prodigy didn’t get his chance against the All Blacks due to the nature of the circumstances but should get the nod this weekend. Looking forward to seeing him make his debut and what he can bring to an Ireland jersey.
14. Darren Sweetnam
The former Cork GAA star has burst onto the scene with Munster this season with a number of brilliant performances for his province. A deadly finisher and fantastic in the air. Time to see if he can do it in green.
15. Tieran O’Halloran
The Connacht fullback was unlucky to miss out on selection for the Chicago trip but Schmidt justified it with Rob Kearney’s resurgent performance. Played well during the summer against South Africa, time to give him another shot with Ireland.
What do you think of this selection for the game against Canada at the Aviva on Saturday?