THE TEAM TO to play England in the final game of the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Aviva Stadium on Saturday has been named.
There are two changes in personnel in the backline and also a positional switch. Keith Earls moves to full-back in place of Luke Fitzgerald. Andrew Trimble comes into the team on the left wing, for his first start in this year’s Championship. Jonathan Sexton will start the game with Ronan O’Gara moving to the replacements.
I did not feel that Declan Kidney would make changes but indeed he has! I am invigorated at the prospect of Keith Earls at full-back.
“Is it a change for this game or was Ronan dropped? There is a big difference.”
He has not seen enough ball on the wing, to the point that he has been wasted out there. At full-back, Keith will embrace the added responsibility and outside of his performance, we will get a chance to see another combination in play. I would still have liked to have seen Luke retained on the wing but one can’t argue at Andrew Trimble’s inclusion. He is big and powerful and will add to the mix.
I was also surprised to see Ronan O’Gara drop to the bench. My opinion on this change would be based on the nature of the change. Is it a change for this game or was Ronan dropped? There is a big difference, but if it was a switch for this game, I would welcome this type of selection policy. Players should be changed far more often in my opinion.
Recent changes in established players have reaped great rewards. Remember how Cian Healy reacted earlier in the year when dropped by Leinster, Donnacha O’Callaghan is another example and Ronan O’Gara. Keep the guys on their toes!
A couple of changes in the front five would also have been a positive but Kidney has decided to keep faith in the eight that lost against Wales.
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