Ireland Look Set To Bring In Some More Fresh Faces As Autumn Nations Cup Opener Approaches
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When Andy Farrell was promoted to the Ireland head coach role following Joe Schmidt’s departure last year the first question from many people was ‘what changes will he make when it comes to personnel’ as the men in green look to bounce back from the disappointing World Cup.
Fast forward twelve months and Farrell has handed out nine Test debuts in his first six matches in charge. Not a bad start when you look at it like that but for many – this should only be the beginning.
Ireland enjoyed huge success under Schmidt throughout 2017 and 2018 but as the saying goes, “a rising tide raises all ships” and Ireland must continue to build for France 2023 by bringing in new players and evolving their game plan.
A 34-man squad was named last week for the Autumn Nations Cup with Farrell making seven changes to his starting line-up to the team that lost to France for Friday’s opener with Wales, including the uncapped James Lowe on the wing.
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Episode 13 has arrived featuring Seán O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip and Garry Ringrose. 🎧 – Jason & Jamie are joined on the show by the one and only Seán O'Brien following the launch of his new book 'Fuel'. 📚 – The lads look at the current state of Irish Rugby and chat about the differences Seán has found in playing Premiership Rugby. 🤔 – Seánie also names his starting Irish seven going forward and tells us about that 'bit of mad' in Irish people that needs to come out of the Ireland lads in big games. 😠 The two lads answer your fan questions including the best back-row they've ever come up against and their biggest career regrets. 👀 – Garry Ringrose also chats to us about his jaw injury, when he'll be back and his British and Irish Lions ambitions. 🦁 Available now wherever you get your podcasts.
But it looks like even more players will end up being used as the tournament goes on, with Farrell hinting that he will be making additional call-ups in the weeks to come.
“Do you know what? We might use more. We could use more,” said Farrell yesterday.
“Having conversations with lads last night and this morning regarding selection [for Wales], we’re not promising anything for next week neither.
“Each game takes its own course, you go into the Georgia game and you don’t know who we’ll play in the last round, but you would think over a period of six international games [including the two Six Nations fixtures], you’d certainly get through more than 34.”
Who would you likey to see brought into the Ireland set-up that’s not already there?