Sunday 17 December 2017

David Wallace: Earls and Zebo must start on recent form

Simon Zebo's performance against Romania was outstanding
Simon Zebo's performance against Romania was outstanding

David Wallace

Rob Kearney is the key variable for the back three spots, but even if he's fit to play, you would feel Simon Zebo and Keith Earls cannot be left out of Ireland's starting 15.

I don't know what more they can prove; they were outstanding against Romania last weekend.

The only 'problem' right now, is the sheer wealth of the talent in the backline. Who misses out? Joe Schmidt has played Zebo as a full-back, but Rob Kearney will have to start if he's fit.

Keith Earls touched down twice and was a menace against Romania, he has to be given a starting berth. So it seems that it will come down to a shootout between Dave Kearney, Tommy Bowe and Zebo for the remaining spot.

Although Bowe is back to his best, Dave Kearney has been the more consistent performer recently. Bowe was great under the high ball and his finishing was top-class against Romania, so he provides a real outlet.

But the warm-up internationals left him chasing the pack, and it's probably too late for him. The others have the cards stacked in their favour, but after last Sunday's game, Zebo and Earls cannot lose out.

Irish Independent

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