DECLAN Kidney announced the Irish rugby team at lunchtime yesterday, five full days before they play Italy. Some of the other Six Nations teams were also released, in keeping with a rugby tradition in publicising teams well advance. It makes sense from a PR viewpoint as it generates discussion among fans which is good for the sport.
Contrast that with the trend in the GAA where many team announcements are delayed until the end of the week and sometimes not made available until match day. This, despite selections being provided to the programme publishers as early as Wednesday.
The GAA public like early team announcements so as to mull over the various possibilities, which is good for promoting the game. But, for some inexplicable reason, the secrecy bug has bitten hard in manager land. Isn't it odd that international rugby has no difficulty showing its hand early, yet the GAA have followed the soccer line by delaying team announcements as long as possible? More than that, it's plain daft.