LeRouxIsPHat wrote:The more I think of it the more I reckon we should start this campaign with the bulk of the guys who'll start the league season with us. I could be wrong but I think the players in the World Cup training squad will purely be with Ireland until they're cut/come back from Japan. Our players didn't really get that much time off (I know they have regular breaks during the summer) so will have gone straight from playing tough knockout games to three months of intense prep for Japan, and then who knows how that goes. I assume we'll get to the QF which will be on the 19/20th of October, and a semi final would mean that we're there until the start of November.
No matter how the World Cup goes I'd prefer if they had a decent break at that stage, back those who are here to do the needful and then integrate the others back and have them rescue things in the four remaining games if necessary.
It'd be inetresting to see how that team would get on anyway.
1. Dooley, 2. Cronin, 3. Bent, 4. Molony, 5. Fardy, 6. Ruddock, 7. Connors, 8. Deegan, 9. Gibson-Park, 10. Byrne, 11. Lowe, 12. C. O'Brien, 13. O'Loughlin, 14. Daly, 15. Frawley; 16. Tracy, 17. Byrne, 18. Abdaladze, 19. Dunne, 20. Doris, 21. Patterson/O'Sullivan, 22. J. O'Brien, 23. D. Kearney/Adam Byrne
Cronin, Ruddock and Ross Byrne could all make the cut and not be around, obviously. There'll be injuries as well, so it's quite likely Ruddock will end up in Japan even if he doesn't make it initially. If the backrowers taken are POM, JvdF, Murphy, Stander and Conan, I'd say Ruddock would be the first to get the call if anyone went down.
If those guys are really performing well and the guys coming back from Japan are a bit fatigued and possibly jaded, I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of mix-and-match anyway - to reward form.
Further to this, I guess it'll be Healy, Furlong, Toner, Ryan, van der Flier, Sexton, Henshaw, Ringrose and Robert Kearney who'll have the really heavy workload at the World Cup. Cronin, Porter, Ruddock, Conan, McGrath, Ross Byrne and Jordan Larmour could be comparatively fresh even if they are just off the plane from Japan.
So a 'rested' team not featuring the former group of players might look something like:
1. Dooley, 2. Cronin, 3. Bent, 4. Molony, 5. Fardy, 6. Ruddock, 7. Connors, 8. Conan, 9. Gibson-Park, 10. Byrne, 11. Lowe, 12. C. O'Brien, 13. O'Loughlin, 14. Daly, 15. Larmour; 16. Tracy, 17. Byrne, 18. Porter, 19. Dunne, 20. Deegan, 21. McGrath, 22. Frawley, 23. D. Kearney/Adam Byrne
I like Barry Daly, but others might think Adam Byrne or David Kearney or Fergus McFadden would be better picks on the right wing. Certainly a lot of options there.