Rugby

Six Nations Team Of The Week Shows Why People Were Right About Schmidt's Selection Policy

Six Nations Team Of The Week Shows Why People Were Right About Schmidt's Selection Policy

Saturday evening at Twickenham saw Ireland try a new centre combination.

It was the first time Robbie Henshaw started at outside centre for Ireland - the position where many believe he will flourish. The game also brought Stuart McCloskey's debut in a green shirt. The 'Bangor Bulldozer' has been a star for Ulster this season.

That the pair, both in their early 20s, started in those positions really came down to one injury - Jared Payne. The New Zealand-born back was ruled out during the week meaning Joe Schmidt moved Henshaw to 13 and brought in McCloskey at 12. Had Payne been fit, it's likely he would have started.

It was a move many had been clamouring for since Schmidt's squad was named in mid-January. Payne, while undoubtedly solid in defence, offers little in terms of attacking force at outside centre - at fullback it's a different story.

Henshaw and McCloskey have been recognised for their performaces at Twickenham by being named in the Official Six Nations Team of the Week.

From the Six Nations website:

Henshaw's all-round display earns him a centre spot and he is joined in midfield by compatriot and debutant Stuart McCloskey who grew into the encounter.

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Here's the full team.

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE


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PJ Browne
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