Friday 7 September 2007

I don't think so, Charlie

I am truly gripped by World Cup fever at this point. I just read an article in the Irish Examiner by Charlie Mulqueen, entitled 'Eddie’s decision to start with big guns a cause for concern'. I must disagree, but not entirely.
Charlie claims that playing the big names in the first two games is a mistake by Eddie O'Sullivan and that it will result in lots of our best players being involved in games 5+ weeks in a row.
My feeling is that we need to play our best team in the opener and rest them for the second game, to maximise both sharpness and freshness heading into the crucial France and Argentina games.
My reasoning:
  • The Irish and European seasons have been over for some time and players have not had a lot of competitive rugby.
  • Players returning from injury - O'Driscoll, Wallace, Horgan - need some game time, so they are not going in to the big games 'cold'.
  • Points difference could be crucial and our starting fifteen are undoubtedly more dangerous than our reserves.

I would agree with Charlie in so far as I wouldn't want the big names playing all of both. With seven subs capable of playing 20-30 minutes, no one should have to play more than 90-120 minutes of rugby in those two games. Over a two week period with a controlled training regime I don't see that being a problem for any of the squad.

I'm not staying in the office to add any more to this, so c'mon Ireland!

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