Wednesday 18 July 2018

Against the Head pundits in agreement on the backline that should start Ireland's Six Nations opener

10 March 2017; Robbie Henshaw, right, and Garry Ringrose of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
10 March 2017; Robbie Henshaw, right, and Garry Ringrose of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland enter 2018 brimming with confidence after an autumn series clean sweep and with what appears to be a settled team - but the midfield is still one area that is being debated.

Injuries to Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw - Ireland's first choice centre partnership for the 2017 Six Nations - saw Joe Schmidt try out new combinations this month, with new cap Bundee Aki getting a chance as well as Chris Farrell and Stuart McCloskey.

All three impressed to varying degrees, with Farrell getting singled out for praise from Joe Schmidt after last Saturday's win against Argentina.

However, today's news that the Munster back will be sidelined until after Christmas with a knee injury will hamper his chances of starting Ireland's Six Nations opener against France in Paris on February 3rd.

Eddie O'Sullivan and Donal Lenihan discussed Ireland's possible Six Nations backline on Against the Head on RTE last night, and both felt that Ireland would be best served by returning to the previously successful Henshaw/Ringrose parternship.

This is the backline that O'Sullivan and Lenihan endorsed:

9. Conor Murray

10. Johnny Sexton

11. Jacob Stockdale

12. Robbie Henshaw

13. Garry Ringrose

14. Keith Earls

15. Rob Kearney

You can watch the discussion below:

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