5 Big Rugby World Cup Takeaways Following Ireland’s Win Over Wales
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Back in business.
Ireland restored some pride this afternoon with a hard-fought 22-17 win over Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
A lot was said after last weekend’s disappointing record defeat to England at Twickenham, but Ireland looked much improved today after making a number of changes.
Joe Schmidt must submit his 31-man World Cup squad on Monday, with today acting as the last chance for a number of players who are fighting for a place on the plane to Japan.
Here are 5 big takeaways following today’s win.
Will Addison is on the plane and could even start.
The Ulster back finally got a run today after getting himself back to full fitness and put in an excellent performance. He looked solid under the high ball and lively in attack. Not only is he guaranteed a spot on the plane, but he could very well overtake Rob Kearney at fullback.
Dave Kilcoyne is off to Japan.
It was always going to be a straight shootout between Kilcoyne and Jack McGrath, but the Munster man proved today he’s the loosehead that should be heading to Japan. A mammoth performance from the former Ardscoil Ris man.
James Ryan is so important to Ireland.
The Leinster lock played his first warm-up game today and made a serious impact. His carries, his lineout work, his defence – you simply cannot underestimate just how important this man is for Ireland.
Conway over Larmour?
Andrew Conway is one of those players who knew he needed a big game today and boy did he deliver. The Munster back like Jordan Larmour is equally comfortable at fullback and winger, but while Larmour is electric – Conway is experienced, fantastic under the high ball and a natural-born finisher. Only one of them will likely travel and our money is now on Conway.
Peter O’Mahony is a serious option at 7.
A lot was said about Ireland’s back-row before today’s game and they performed really well. Having Beirne and 6 with O’Mahony at 7 is a lovely balance, leaving Conan and Stander shooting it out for number eight. O’Mahony proved today he’s more than capable of delivering the goods at openside and with Leavy and O’Brien out – could be a real option for Ireland at 7.