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2015-16 Six Nations

RBS6N: Teams up for Ireland v Italy

John_s_version_3The teams for tomorrows Ireland v Italy RBS Six Nations match were announced yesterday. The game kicks off at the Aviva Stadium at 1:30pm with live coverage on ITV/RTE2.

While the U20’s and Women’s sides have shown some progress, in style of play and personnel used, this season the “flag ship” outfit seems to be going backwards with Joe Schmidt delivering another rather uninspiring selection.

Now, I know Schmidt takes a great deal of interest in the Women’s side and the U20’s and has been very encouraging in, well, encouraging them to open up so you have to wonder why he remains so reserved when it comes to the men? Jeez when you think of the great Leinster sides that hammered Ulster regularly in recent seasons you have to wonder what’s happened!

To me the issue seems to be the fear of losing, as Ireland appear to be concentrating more on defence rather than attack. Payne cited for his defensive organisation in the centre rather than his attacking prowess from full back is conservatism gone mad. Ireland’s current strategy would be fine if we had a big pack that could cause some damage behind the gain line and take advantage of Ireland’s positional tactics but with all modern defences well drilled and generally equally effective Ireland need to find that something extra to break opponents down other than brute force.

Having said that, brute force will probably be enough against this set of Italians but with Ireland without a win in their games against the championship contenders I fail to see what Ireland stand to gain from this match with such a conservative selection. No doubt the eventists will enjoy their day out at the Aviva as they celebrate an Ireland win but the long standing supporter should be feeling a touch disgruntled!

Anyway, welcome back Jared Payne, please stay injury free over the next two weeks!

IRELANDITALY
Simon Zebo15David Odiete
Andrew Trimble14Leonardo Sarto
Jared Payne13Michele Campagnaro
Robbie Henshaw12Gonzalo Garcia
Keith Earls11Mattia Bellini
Jonathan Sexton10Edoardo Padovani
Conor Murray9Guglielmo Palazzani
Jack McGrath1Andrea lovotti
Rory Best2David Giazzon
Mike Ross3Lorenzo Cittadini
Donnacha Ryan4George Biagi
Devin Toner5Marco Fuser
CJ Stander6Francesco Minto
Josh van der Flyer7Alessandro Zanni
Jamie Heaslip8Sergio Parisse
Sean Cronin16Oliviero Fabiani
Cian Heal17Matteo Zanusso
Nathan White18Dano Christolini
Ultan Dillane19Quintin Geldenhuys
Rhys Ruddock20Braam Steyn
Kieran Marmion21Alberto Lucchese
Ian Madigan22Kelly Haimona
Fergus McFadden23Luke McLean

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