Lots on the line for hungry Wolfhounds

29 January 2015; Ireland's Luke Fitzgerald during squad training. Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Des Berry

THIS is not your typical ‘A’ international. That’s for sure.

There are genuine Six Nations places on the line for the likes of flanker Seán O’Brien, second row Iain Henderson, left wing Luke Fitzgerald, centre Gordon D’Arcy and maybe even Kieran Marmion.

This is a mouth-watering prospect as The Saxons travel with a host of men looking to elbow their way into the Six Nations and the World Cup.


The much hyped Sam Burgess will be a person of interest to wily old D’Arcy.

“I think in the overall picture, Gordon has his own place,” said Wolfhounds coach Dan McFarland.

“This time last year he was on the doorstep of having a really successful Six Nations.”

Burgess won’t carry the Saxons fight alone. Henry Slade, Chris Ashton, Elliot Daly and Marland Yarde are not exactly chopped liver.

“The threats that they have are everywhere,” warned McFarland.

The Saxons coach Jon Callard has added fuel to the fire.

“The team is one of the strongest Saxons sides selected,” he said.

“Every player knows the importance of this match with potential of claiming a spot in the senior squad for the RBS 6 Nations campaign and the World Cup later in year.”

Wolfhounds: F Jones (capt); F McFadden, K Earls, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; I Madigan, K Marmion; J McGrath, R Strauss, M Ross, M McCarthy, I Henderson, D Ryan, S O’Brien, J Conan.

Saxons: C Pennell; C Ashton, E Daly, S Burgess, M Yarde; H Slade, L Dickson (capt); M Mullan, R Webber, H Thomas, M Garvey, J Gaskell, D Ewers, M Kvesic, T Waldrom.

VERDICT: Wolfhounds