Ireland Explain Their Reasoning For Dropping Sean Cronin From Squad
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Ireland coach Simon Easterby has put the dropping of hooker Sean Cronin down to them wanting to build more depth ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year and beyond.
Cronin made his first ever Six Nations start in the win over Italy a fortnight ago, but didn’t have his best game and was replaced early in the second-half by substitute hooker Niall Scannell.
Easterby says the 32-year-old has been involved in the last three Six Nations games and it’s time to look at other options in a “specialist position like hooker.”
“I guess we’re looking continually to build some depth in positions,” Easterby said.
“Sean has been involved in the first three games, he has started in Italy, and in a specialist position like hooker, we’re just looking to continually build some depth and find out a bit more about players that we need to work with.”
Many feel the decision to axe Cronin from the squad entirely was a little harsh, but Easterby doesn’t agree.
“Well, no, my reasoning is what I said — it’s to do with building some depth and we know a lot about Sean,” he continued.“He has been in camp a long time, he has been in the squad a long time and has a lot of caps. It’s an opportunity to see a bit more of other players.”
“That doesn’t exclude him from next week and it certainly doesn’t exclude him from us going forward. We need to keep building that depth and knowledge of those players in that position.”
Easterby also defended Cronin’s performance against Italy.
“I think Sean has gone pretty well. There would be a couple of lineouts that have gone astray but some of them is strategy. But when you look at what happens in a lineout there are so many combinations.” Easterby added
“If you get one of those things wrong, the lift, the jump, the throw, the movement, well it’s probably the hooker that gets a little bit of the pressure. I’d say we’ve been pretty happy with Sean and what he’s produced prior to coming in and while in camp.”