Thursday 19 October 2017

White and Marmion face battle to get in

15 August 2015; Nathan White, Ireland. Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Match. Ireland v Scotland. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
15 August 2015; Nathan White, Ireland. Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Match. Ireland v Scotland. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

It's only a few days now until Joe Schmidt announces his World Cup squad and the Ireland head coach has held his cards close his chest in recent months.

He really is a master tactician and it's impossible to predict what he has up his sleeve.

Players have been kept on their toes by the selections put out against Wales and Scotland and everyone has been given a fair shot to stake their claim. It seems no-one knows if they're in or not, which is driving standards.

From a Connacht point of view, ideally three players will be on the plane, but Robbie Henshaw seems the only certainty. He was the star of the Six Nations for Ireland and became a mainstay in the team.

Nathan White was fantastic when he came on against Scotland in the warm-up international and his mobility and scrummaging ability makes him a great option for Schmidt.

But there's plenty of competition amongst the props, as there is at scrum-half - Conor Murray is a definite while Eoin Reddan looks another guaranteed squad member.

It's then down to Connacht's Kieran Marmion and Leinster's Isaac Boss for the final slot.

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