Friday 18 May 2007

Ireland 'A' team to play Canada eh?

1 - Ray Hogan (Galwegians/Connacht)
2 - John Fogarty (Buccaneers/Connacht)
3 - Michael Ross (NEC Harlequins)
4 - Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon/Ulster)
5 - Andrew Farley (Buccaneers/Connacht)
6 - Stephen Keogh (Shannon/Leinster)
7 - *Johnny O'Connor (London Wasps)
8 - *Roger Wilson (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
9 - Chris Keane (Buccaneers/Connacht)
10 - *Jeremy Staunton (London Wasps)
11 - Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
12 - Seamus Mallon (Northampton Saints)
13 - Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
14 - Paul McKenzie (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
15 - Johnny Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

John Fogarty captains this team that includes three players capped at full international level (marked with an asterix) against the Canadians tomorrow in Exeter. The team also includes two players from the grand-slam winning U-20s side, Darren Cave and Keith Earls. From what I'm able to gauge the team is a mixture of experience, youth and a whole lot of randoms that I simply do not recognise. The backline is especially inexperienced but they are complimented by a surprisingly competent looking forward pack, on paper at least. The back-row of Keogh, O'Connor and Wilson is formidable, each one of those guys are still potentially in with a shot at the Ireland squad for France in Autumn... well maybe not so much Wilson but the other two definitely. This is Fogarty's chance to impress the Irish management as well. After an impressive year for Connacht (and being impressive when playing for Connacht is.. well impressive) many felt he was unjustly omitted from the Argentina tour. This is his chance to establish hmself as a fore-runner for the number 2 jersey in Autumn.

I dunno anything about the Canadian team but.... I imagine they're not very good

On patriotic bias I call Ireland to win