Brian O’Driscoll On Who Andy Farrell Should Start In The Centre For Ireland’s Six Nations Opener

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Midfield.

New Ireland boss Andy Farrell has some big decisions to make before his first Six Nations game in charge against Scotland on Saturday.

Farrell has already shaken things up in terms of his squad selection, dropping the likes of Sean Cronin, Niall Scannell, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Rob Kearney, but who he picks in his matchday 23 this weekend is where things will get very interesting.

Centre has gone from an area where Ireland struggled for many years to one of the most competitive positions in the squad. Bundee Aki, Chris Farrell, Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw were named in his initial squad before Farrell added the in-form Stuart McCloskey to his squad last week.

Add in the fact that Will Addison can play there too and you’ve got six top centres fighting for just two positions.

So who does he go with? We chatted to arguably Ireland’s best ever centre Brian O’Driscoll and his initial thoughts were Garry Ringrose is one of the first names on the teamsheet given his World Cup form and more recent form for Leinster – but after that, it’s a lot closer.

“I think it’s Garry plus one on the basis of his World Cup,” O’Driscoll said.

“I don’t think he was going into the World Cup as number one but through Robbie’s injury he managed to find his way in, he was one of the ones who enhanced his reputation coming out of that.

“He’s been playing really well for Leinster and is on a hot run of form with his try-scoring as well.”

But who partners the youngster? O’Driscoll reckons his provincial teammate Robbie Henshaw just edges it.

“So I think it’s him, and I think it’s probably just Robbie Henshaw ahead of Bundee, just because they play together because defensively he’s probably our best centre and I just think he’s getting back into form after a bad run of injuries as well himself,” O’Driscoll added.

“So not much between him and Bundee, but I reckon those two.”

What do you think? Who would you like to see start in the centre for Ireland this weekend?

Pictured on his home turf in Clontarf, Brian O’Driscoll has teamed up with GUINNESS to launch a host of GUINNESS SIX NATIONS experiences which celebrate a fusion of the six competing nations inspired cultures through events available to the public. The first experience on 31st January will be a hike along the iconic Howth Head followed by a meal in a local pub, hosted by former on-field rival rugby internationals, Tommy Bowe and Thom Evans. Those wishing to secure a spot on the hike should email [email protected] with their name, date of birth and mobile phone number by 23:59 on Tuesday, 28th January. Over 18’s only. For full terms and conditions and further information on ticketing and open to the public details for all experiences, visit www.guinness.com.