MUCH can be said about the announcement of the continued captaincy of the Irish rugby team by Brian O’Driscoll, or can there?
Including the caption, that’s two questions to open a comment piece – probably an act of literary heresy, but what were we to expect only more of the same. We all wanted something else, but the balance of power could not and can not shift just because one of our own stepped into the breach and the abyss left by Eddie O’Sullivan.
To be fair, Declan Kidney went into the job with one hand tied behind his back. He has, however, rung a number of changes through his short but decisive tenure in charge and that must be and hopefully will be credited during the run of the this season’s Six Nations Championship.The thought process behind continuing O’Driscoll’s captaincy is probably something we will truly never fully know as the jargon and rhetoric is always the same for these type of decisions. So I think it’s best for us to move on despite thinking that the best man, or at least one of the best men, is not in the job.
This column, however, is about Munster Rugby and much has happened over that last few days, not to mention the Montauban mauling, after conditions that were more akin to the sailors of the Volvo Ocean Race swept through the town 50 kilometres north of Toulouse.
There’s many that will tell you what it was like – stranded in the south of France can’t have been that bad to be fair. The professional outfit that is Munster Rugby, shone through and the result had all the hallmarks of a team bursting with the passion to retain this trophy.
However, a question arose that really needs addressing. On the return of Tipoki to full strength, what would the backline look like?
The Kiwi pairing are sure to be selected for the quarter final battle of Thomond with the Ospreys, but what will happen to the local lad Keith Earls? Would he return to the slot at full back at the expense of Paul Warwick?
Surely, the Australian’s he would be a shoe-in for the full back berth as the current option to play both himself and O’Gara in the same starting 15 has paid off so well of late?
McGahan is no fool and the class of Warwick is there for all to see and the chances of Earls falling foul of Warwick’s form are very much evident.
That is, of course, that our old friend Declan Kidney does not give the Moyross man a few outings at top international level.
In getting to wear a green jersey over the next few weeks, are we looking at a centre replacement for the man at the top of the column?