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Gerry thornleys starting 15 for next world cup

  • 06-11-2021 1:53pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,711 ✭✭✭sxt

    How clueless is this guy?

    The back line is Murray, Sexton and lamour and stockdale on the wing, and Zebo in the 23


    Sexton has a slim outside chance even at his age but he will be nearly 40! Murray will not be first choice and Zebo has zero chance of making the squad

    Gerry Thornley’s Possible Irish first-choice team for the 2023 World Cup

    15 Hugo Keenan

    14 Jordan Larmour

    13 Garry Ringrose

    12 Robbie Henshaw

    11 Jacob Stockdale

    10 Johnny Sexton

    9 Conor Murray

    1 Andrew Porter

    2 Rónan Kelleher

    3 Tadhg Furlong

    4 James Ryan

    5 Iain Henderson

    6 Caelan Doris

    7 Josh van der Flier

    8 Jack Conan


    16 Dan Sheehan

    17 David Kilcoyne

    18 Tom O’Toole

    19 Ryan Baird

    20 Gavin Coombes

    21 Craig Casey

    22 Joey Carbery

    23 Simon Zebo

    Post edited by sxt on



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,886 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    Wtf! Stander Sob?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,886 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    SOB? See there's no Beirne!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,886 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    I'd guess

    1. Porter

    2. Kelleher

    3. Furlong

    4. Henderson

    5. Ryan

    6. Beirne

    7. Leavy

    8 Conan

    9. Casey

    10. HB

    11. Larmour

    12. Henshaw

    13. Ringer

    14. Balacoune

    15. Keenan

    16. Sheehan

    17. EOS

    18. TOT

    19 Ahern

    20. Coombes

    21. Doak

    22. Healy

    23. Conway

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 34,447 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    O'Driscoll must be in consideration. Maybe Tony Ward?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,222 ✭✭✭ersatz

    Hard to see why he would have Stockdale in that lineup, he had an incredible debut season and he's scored a few fabulous tries since but he has not reproduced his breakout form and is not head and shoulders above several others. As for Murray, I really don't see him making it. There have been a few indications that Farrell is moving away from the kind of game that suits Murray and it will be very difficult for him to win the jersey back if JPG keeps up the kind of tempo and variety he showed yesterday. You'd see Conor being useful to close out a tight game but its a long shot that a role like that will get a place in the WC squad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    He is not a million miles away from the starting team. I do think the transition from Murray has started so I don't think he will be the starting 9, but Thornley is a huge fan of Murrays so predictable he would pick him. At this stage JGP would replace Murray in that team with Casey on bench. Murray to travel

    Stockdale & Larmour are class players just out of form, if they get back into form would they be starters? I think so.

    Zebo was brought back to Ireland to play international rugby, otherwise the IRFU wouldn't be paying for him. I would fully expect him to be around the first team and as a bench players can cover multiple positions plus in a tight game he could add the spark to maybe win a game.

    I don't see why you would say Thornley is clueless. He is one of the best if not the best rugby writer in Ireland. Met him a few times around games and chatted away and he knows his rugby, a lot more than me(not that hard)

    Sexton & Carbery stood beside each other at warm up prior to game, with the amount of tape/support on Carbery you would think he was the 36 year old.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,727 ✭✭✭✭phog

    In every squad like a Lions or W/C Squad they'll be a few surprises both in omissions and inclusions but I'll be shocked if Sexton is in our World Cup squad. We play him for the next 6Ns and then thank him for his services. I know some people will complain about what's behind him but by the time we reach the W/C he'll be too old for the international rugby.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,919 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

    Age isn’t the relevant criteria. Performance is and the absolute gulf in that was very evident on Saturday. As much as I really hope we are not relying on Sexton at the next world cup. I could see it being the case, far more than Murray being near a match day squad.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,475 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    Couple of points on this:

    "At this stage JGP would replace Murray in that team with Casey on bench. Murray to travel"

    I'm not sure we'll take 3 SH's tho; generally we've split the half-backs as 2 9's and 3 10's in the RWC squads. I think it's more likely than not that Casey will have taken Murray's place at Munster by the time the RWC comes around too. Interesting to see how it plays out tho.

    "Stockdale & Larmour are class players just out of form, if they get back into form would they be starters? I think so."

    I'd disagree here. I think one of them could easily be a starter, but I don't see both, at the moment. In the short-term I suspect it'll be Keenan, plus one of Earls/Conway for their defensive solidity, plus one more.

    "Zebo was brought back to Ireland to play international rugby, otherwise the IRFU wouldn't be paying for him."

    It was mentioned at the time that Zebo took a fairly reasonable paycut to come back, but ya I would expect him to be in and around squads. I'm looking forward to seeing him back in green, hopefully will get a run out vs Argentina.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,011 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    Zebo was brought back to Ireland to play international rugby, otherwise the IRFU wouldn't be paying for him. 

    This thing about the IRFU "co-funding" Zebo's contract was PR guff and nothing more, there is nothing to be learned from it in terms of his likelihood of selection, good or bad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,727 ✭✭✭✭phog

    I've no idea why you bring in the strawman of Murray unless you want a tit for tat provincial battle just because I think a 38 year old who happens to be a Leinster player shouldn't be in our world cup squad, nice try but I'm not biting.

    Post edited by phog on

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    The first squad after Zebo was brought back to Ireland he is included. I think we can all make an assumption that the IRFU discussed with Farrell etc when they decided to bring him back.

    Even looking at it without the co-funding, Zebo can add something to the squad/team that maybe some other players can't and an option off the bench he covers a huge amount of positions plus adds a spark

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I don't disagree with anything you have said. Joe squad only had 2 9's but will Farrell go the same route? I think Casey will pass Murray for the next WC. The big ?? is Doak, he remind me of Murray and he could jump all of them into the first team if his form continues.

    Different opinions of course on some position but I was just talking about Gerrys team. Would it be my starting 15? no.

    I can't wait to see Zebo in green again. We need players like him around the squad and team, will give us huge depth.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Sorry I personally wouldn't count that as a squad, that was just a 1 day event. Hence why I left it out. You are 100% correct so it depends on what is classed as a squad or not.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,868 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    He probably shouldn't be but its becoming increasingly more likely he will be but as things stand that is solely performance based.

    Thornley no longer has any special insight into the Ireland squad and its incredibly apparent. He also couldn't analyse his way out of a wet paper bag.

    He's basically just taken the current, or very recent, starting 15. I have no idea what our team will be come 2023 but I guarantee you it will have changed more than that from the current squad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,011 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    I don't disagree, but the "co-funding" thing doesn't mean anything since every other player's provincial contract is co-funded too. And don't forget, Zebo only got a 1-year deal.

    If they'd brought him back on a central contract, then that would be a very different discussion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,727 ✭✭✭✭phog

    I doubt anyone thinks Thornley knows who our W/C squad will actually be, it's a stab at it, nothing more and has lead to some discussion but for you and others who seem to want to argue on performance, where do you see a 38yo getting a performance to be good enough to be included in a Tier 1 nation's W/C squad?

    Whatever we think of the pretenders there isn't a hope of Sexton making the squad, it would wrong for him on a personal level, it might even be dangerous for him to be included. Two years of professional rugby is a lifetime of wear and tear when you're his age.

    I genuinely can't see him anywhere near the squad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,511 ✭✭✭A2LUE42

    Ward, Ah here, don't you mean Dean or Campbell ?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,011 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    I don't think anyone wants a 38 year old playing at the RWC.

    The question is whether 38 year old Johnny Sexton will be better than 28 year old Joey Carbery, 24 year old Harry Byrne or anyone else two years from now.

    I'd say it's 50-50 at this point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,728 ✭✭✭✭Akrasia

    Zebo will be brought as cover for fullback and as an impact player to bring off the bench

    I can't see Murray travelling, I'd say It's between Casey and Doke to be backup for JGP unless he hits a bad run of form and gets overtaken in the next couple of years

    Sexton won't travel. I just think the likelyhood of him getting an injury in the next 2 years is high and recover periods get longer as people get into their late 30s

    The options at 10 are dependent on whether Carbery can find form and stay fit, but if Carbery isn't the starting 10, Its gonna be 3 of the starting 10s for their provinces in 2023, which I think will be Harry Byrne for Leinster (if he can stay injury free), Either Healy or Crowley for Munster, and Carty from Connacht, with a real battle for the starting place between these 3 players (I don't think Billy Burns or Madigan will be in the picture)

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,868 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    If you had told me 2 years ago that a 36 year old Sexton would be head and shoulders above every other option at 10 I wouldn't have believed it either yet here we are.

    I still lean towards him not being there but the cold reality is that he is currently far and away our best 10.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,727 ✭✭✭✭phog

    Look around you, how many 38 year olds are still playing professional rugby, then count how many 38yos are still playing international rugby.

    I know it's wishful thinking from some of you but it's not going to happen, regardless of the quality of who we have available then.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,868 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    Its not wishful thinking - I don't want to end up in a situation where he is travelling. I don't know how you can say "regardless of the quality of who we have available" though. If he is still playing and still the best then why wouldn't he be there?

    Its unusual to have a 36 year old starting 10 also, but that is the situation we are in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,727 ✭✭✭✭phog

    This is my last post on this because I don't want the drag the thread to boredom but imho there's no way Sexton is going to capable of playing in the W/C, his body just won't allow it.

    We have to live with what we have.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,185 ✭✭✭RichieRich_89

    The increase in squad numbers makes it more viable to take a 38-year old than it would have otherwise been.

    They could have two other 10s in the squad as a very effective reserve force for any other contingencies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,011 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    Look around you, how many other test out-half options do we have?

    Like, Sexton is 36 now and the gap between him and Carbery seems actually to be getting wider.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,727 ✭✭✭✭phog

    That's irrelevant and what's more you know that.

    It's beyond bizarre that posters think that a 38yo will be fit and capable of playing in a world cup competition for a Tier 1 nation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,919 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

    Murray is in the discussion via Thornley. It has nothing to do with provincial bias or anything else. It has to do with a player who is 36 now and one who will be 34 in two years time. The contrast being one has competition, who are capable of passing him. The other doesn’t at this point.