5 Players Who Could Tour Australia With Ireland This Summer
Latest posts by Christopher Brady (see all)
- Irish Internationals Who Have Played Second Fiddle For Most Of Their Careers - August 22, 2018
- 5 Players Who Could Tour Australia With Ireland This Summer - May 1, 2018
- Who Should Replace Isa Nacewa As Leinster Captain? - April 25, 2018
With rumours of resting players, injuries to others and a selection of talent on form, it’s going to be hard for Joe Schmidt to choose his squad for their tour of Australia.
Does he rest Sexton and Murray? Who will stand up to fill the boots of the likes of Chris Farrell and Seán O’Brien? And who’s giving him the headaches based on form this season?
There’s most likely going to be an injection of young blood into this squad, with the Rugby World Cup around the corner. Many have already regarded this tour as a chance for the young stars to gain experience as opposed to beat Australia at home.
Even if the Irish don’t win the tour, we could still see some of these players make a name for themselves.
5 players who could travel down under.
John Cooney- most likely
Cooney has been a shining light for Ulster this season, in what has been a difficult year both on and off the pitch. It would be fair to say Cooney has won a lot of Ulster’s games this season and whilst their success has been limited, it has been thanks to Cooney’s boot. It would be a just reward for a season which could well see him as Ulster’s Player of the Year. Should he recover from the injury which kept him out of the Munster v Ulster clash, he could well find himself on the plane to Australia. He’s almost guaranteed a place if Luke McGrath does not recover in time.
Tadhg Beirne- very likely
Even though his side were pummelled to the ground and then some by his former club in their European Semi-Final, Beirne was the stand out star for Scarlets on the day. His form since he left Leinster has been excellent, with many calling for Schmidt to drop the ‘no overseas players’ rule for Beirne ahead of the Six Nations. The fact is, he’s going to be Munster’s next Donnacha Ryan in the coming season. A trip to Australia would be a great way to start him off for next season and bring him into the international set-up. Beirne and James Ryan in the second-row would certainly be a sight to see.
Rory Scannell- likely
He’s been the unsung hero of Munster this season, with his form being incredibly consistent. His ability to cover 10 and 12 could come in handy down under, especially if Sexton is held back. Off the bench or starting at 10, 12, or even 15, he should be able to ease any pressure on Carbery with his kicking. Whilst he certainly doesn’t have the bulk Robbie Henshaw or Bundee Aki have, he gives Ireland an extra playmaker in the 12 channel who is solid in terms of his consistency.
Sam Arnold- possibility
The Munster centre has really come out of his shell this season, impressing in Champions Cup fixtures against Leicester Tigers and Toulon. The former Ulster academy centre has already been training with the Irish team, and was involved for the Six Nations. Could fill the void left by the injured Chris Farrell.
One of the Connacht back 3 – not likely, the wild cards
Under Pat Lam, Niyi Adeolokun, Matt Healy and Tiernan O’Halloran were arguably the best back 3 in Ireland. They played with pride, passion and flare. Just look at Healy and Akeolokun’s tries during the 2016 PRO 12 final if you need any proof. Recently, injury and a poor season for the western province have hampered them from gaining more Ireland caps, with Adeolokun and Healy only having one each and O’Halloran on six caps. However, they’re certainly class players and their performances against Leinster at the weekend showed a flare which as been lacking in Connacht since Pat Lam departed. Whilst any of the 3 of them would be a long shot in terms of making the Ireland squad, it would be nice to see one of them involved with Ireland again.