A Combined Grand Slam Team & Current Ireland Squad XV
What would a combined XV of Ireland’s current team and the Grand Slam winning side look like?
Ireland have been in terrific form of late, beating the All Blacks for the first time in history and completing a famous trio of victories over southern hemisphere opposition this past weekend with a win over the Wallabies.
The strength in depth that now exists within Joe Schmidt’s squad is fantastic but how would the current set-up fair against the famous Grand Slam winning side of 2009? It’s a tough one but we’re gonna give it a go.
First of all here’s the side that lined out against Wales in the clincher: Kearney; Bowe, B O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald; O’Gara, O’Leary; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.
How many of those players would still start today?
Here’s our combined XV.
1. Jack McGrath
2. Jerry Flannery
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. Paul O’Connell
6. CJ Stander
7. David Wallace
8. Jamie Heaslip
9. Conor Murray
10. Ronan O’Gara
11. Simon Zebo
12. Robbie Henshaw
13. Brian O’Driscoll
14. Tommy Bowe
15. Rob Kearney
Not a bad side is it? Some tough calls had to be made in the second-row and it’s a huge toss up between CJ Stander and Stephen Ferris. Another big decision was Wallace over O’Brien, but Wally just edges it for us.
There’s no room also for captain Rory Best as Jerry Flannery gets the nod at hooker.
What do you think of this line-up? Where would you make changes?