Picking An Ireland Team For The November Internationals
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If it’s anything like last year’s series, we’re in for treat.
Last year’s November series will live long in the memory for Irish fans. A famous win over the All Blacks in Chicago was followed up bruising return game in Dublin and a miraculous win over the Wallabies.
This time round Ireland will take on the South Africa, Fiji and Argentina in what promises to be another excellent series. Schmidt will have some huge selection decisions to make following the Lions tour and the young guns putting their hands up during the summer series.
The biggest decision he must first make is his captaincy. Rory Best is 35 next month and will be 37 by the time the 2019 Rugby World Cup comes around. If there was ever a time to change captaincy, it’s now, just two years into the current cycle.
The obvious candidate is Peter O’Mahony after he led the Lions in the first Test against the All Blacks. The Munster captain has long been touted as a future Ireland captain, and probably would have gotten it ahead of Best after the 2015 Rugby World Cup had he not have picked up that devastating knee injury.
Selection wise, Schmidt needs to go full strength, but also look at incorporating those young guns that impressed in June. The Ireland boss will be without Garry Ringrose and likely Robbie Henshaw, so perhaps we could see Bundee Aki in the centre, with the Connacht man becoming eligible in time for the series.
Here’s how we think Ireland should line out.
15. Joey Carbery
14. Keith Earls
13. Bundee Aki
12. Jared Payne
11. Simon Zebo
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray
1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. Devin Toner
6. Peter O’Mahony (c)
7. Sean O’Brien
8. CJ Stander