• Home
  • /
  • Rugby
  • /
  • Joe Schmidt Looks Likely To Spring A Few Surprises With The Ireland Starting XV

Joe Schmidt Looks Likely To Spring A Few Surprises With The Ireland Starting XV

Joe Schmidt Looks Likely To Spring A Few Surprises With The Ireland Starting XV
By Gary Reilly Updated

CJ Stander is in line to be named in the Ireland starting XV when Joe Schmidt names his side to take on Wales on Sunday. The Ireland boss will confirm his team at lunchtime on Friday and according, to both the Irish Times and the Irish Independent, all signs point to a significant amount of change in the Irish pack.

Not only is Stander likely to come in at blindside flanker but his Munster teammate Tommy O'Donnell could well lineup at openside, with Sean O'Brien's hamstring strain looking like it might force him out of the Six Nations opener despite earlier assertions that the injury was not as serious as earlier reported.

Given the injuries to Iain Henderson, Peter O'Mahony, Cian Healy, Mike Ross and Marty Moore, the forward options open to Joe Schmidt were always going to be a significant change from what we have been used to in recent years. The potential loss of O'Brien only compounds that change with Mike McCarthy likely to line up alongside Devin Toner in the second row. Nathan White and Jack McGrath will lineup either side of new captain Rory Best.

In the backs, the big selection looks to be at full back with Simon Zebo looking like he may well pip Rob Kearney after the Leinster man sat out training during the week. Elsewhere, Andrew Trimble looks likely for a recall with Keith Earls on the opposite wing and Joe Schmidt's preferred centre partnership of Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw lining up in midfield.

Likely Irish starting XV to face Wales:

Backs: Simon Zebo; Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray.

Forwards: Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Nathan White; Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy; CJ Stander, Tommy O'Donnell, Jamie Heaslip.


See also: Keith Wood Gleefully Recalls The Time BOD Stuck Up For Ronan O'Gara And Boxed Austin Healy

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com