Thursday 23 March 2017

The omitted XV - We choose the best side from the players Joe Schmidt overlooked for All Blacks clash

Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt named a 34-man squad today for the daunting task of taking on the All Blacks in Chicago on November 5. A number of established names and promising youngsters were left out.

Despite being crowned Pro12 champions last season, winning the opening two games of the Champions Cup pool and recently beating Ulster, Connacht account for just three places in the 34-man squad.

Eight Connacht players make our omitted XV including a back three of Niyi Adeolokun, Cian Kelleher and Tiernan O'Halloran.

Their Connacht team mate Caolin Blade partners the gone but not forgotten Ian Madigan who has been kicking consistently well for Bordeaux-Begles.

An all-Ulster centre partnership of Stuart Olding and Tommy Bowe complete a very dangerous looking back division.

In the pack, Marty Moore is rewarded with a place at tighthead for his eyecatching performances for Wasps and he joined in the front row by Dave Heffernan and Dave Kilcoyne.

Quinn Roux and Mike McCarthy make up the second row with Connacht's Sean O'Brien, Leinster's Rhys Ruddock and Jake Heenan making up the back row.

The omitted XV:

15. Tiernan O'Halloran (Connacht)

14. Cian Kelleher (Connacht)

13. Tommy Bowe (Ulster)

12. Stuart Olding (Ulster)

11. Niyi Adeolokun (Connacht)

10. Ian Madigan (Bordeaux-Begles)

9. Caolin Blade (Connacht)

8. Jake Heenan (Connacht)

7. Sean O'Brien (Connacht)

6. Rhys Ruddock (Leinster)

5. Mike McCarthy (Leinster)

4. Quinn Roux (Connacht)

3. Marty Moore (Wasps)

2. Dave Heffernan (Connacht)

1. Dave Kilcoyne (Munster)

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