Shane Horgan Blasts One Particular Joe Schmidt Selection Choice From Scotland Game


Does he have a point?

Tommy Bowe was a surprise inclusion in Joe Schmidt’s squad last Thursday. The Ulster winger hadn’t featured in an Ireland squad since being stretchered off with a knee injury in 2015’s Rugby World Cup quarter final against Argentina.

If there’s one thing Schmidt isn’t short of at the moment is in-form backs, with the provinces firing in Europe and the PRO12, yet Schmidt went down the ‘tried and tested’ nostalgic route.


Speaking on Monday’s second captains, former Ireland winger Shane Horgan was hugely critical of Schmidt’s decision to bring him on during the defeat.

I think we have to actually address the Tommy Bowe issue as well. That looked like a nostalgic call from Joe [Schmidt], having him in the team. He’d been caught from behind by [Ian] Madigan in a game a couple of weeks ago. He hasn’t been playing well. I was very surprised that he was in the 23.

He then was brought on for one of Ireland’s best backs, if not their best back at the weekend. I thought Earls consistently looked sharp. He had zip in the first half when actually no players had it. He was constantly a threat. Unless he had a niggle, I don’t know why [Schmidt] took him off.

And then Tommy just didn’t look as if he was up to the pace of the game at all. He had a negative contribution. Now, Tommy’s been amazing for Ireland, and has been a cornerstone of many, many wins, but it did smack a bit of a selection based on nostalgia.

We give Joe [Schmidt] a lot of praise, but I think you have to flag it up when an error is made.


What do you think? Is the former Ireland and Leinster winger right? Do you think Bowe will make the squad this weekend?

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