5 Talking Points As Ireland Team Named For USA Test
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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt this afternoon named an exciting team to take on USA this weekend, retaining just one player (Garry Ringrose) from the starting XV that famously defeated the All Blacks on Saturday.
Schmidt has instead opted to use this game as a platform for a number of fringe players to impress, with the likes of Sam Arnold, Darren Sweetnam, John Cooney, Dave Kilcoyne and Finlay Bealham all included.
Here are five talking points.
Kilcoyne’s chance to shine.
The Munster prop has been in excellent form this season, with word last week that he’s been pushing Jack McGrath very close in selection. A big game this weekend will go a long way if he’s to usurp the Leinster prop for a spot on Ireland’s bench going forward.
Another man who’s very close to overtaking his Leinster counterpart. Sean Cronin is an explosive option off the bench, but Scannell is more of a Schmidt player, who can throw and scrum better than Cronin. Big game for him this weekend.
McCloskey at 12.
The Ulster man hasn’t been given too many chance to impress since debuting against England back in 2016. Ireland’s centre stocks have never been so rich, so the Ulster man will need a huge game to get himself back in the mix.
Arnold debut imminent.
The Munster centre has been training with Ireland for the last couple of years, and now finally gets his chance to debut in green. A good solid centre who’s still only 22. A future star in green without a doubt. Just how far into the future is up to him.
Joe Schmidt’s future.
The Ireland boss made some interesting comments after his team announcement, revealing a decision on his contract will be made by Sunday. It sounds like he’s decided to leave, but we hope we’re wrong. Would be a huge loss if he does pack his bags after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.