Saturday 21 January 2017

Tony Ward: Earls has the edge to fill huge void left by O’Driscoll

Published 31/01/2012 | 05:00

Events in Exeter last Saturday were never likely to have any great impact on tomorrow's announcement of the Ireland team to play Wales -- it would have taken a sensational individual performance to sway Declan Kidney.

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Like the head coach, I wish there were more Wolfhounds matches. Seeing players out of their provincial comfort zone is immensely informative.

Quite apart from the obvious skill-set required for this level of competition, what Kidney is looking out for is how players adapt to an alien environment, how they cope against a higher standard of opposition and how their temperament stands up on that stage.

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