Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ireland's triumph puts paid to nonsensical notion of 'post-Lions slump'

Ireland's players celebrate victory against France
Ireland's players celebrate victory against France
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

OF all the inane talk doing the rounds before this Six Nations began, the one that really annoyed me was the line about the French winning the Grand Slam in post-Lions tours years.

That, my friends, is called coincidence. For anyone to seriously suggest that rugby players, amateur or professional, are tired, either mentally or physically, over six months on from a summer tour simply beggars belief.

It's akin to Spurs winning the FA Cup in a calendar year that ends in one. Roll on 2021 for the White Hart Lane faithful!

But back to the French and how we are forever listening to talk about how their Top 14 competition is so physically demanding and ultra-competitive (if hugely boring).

On that basis, should they too not be running close on empty come Six Nations time? For the record, the Lions won the Test series, the French lost twice during this campaign and Ireland won the title, albeit by a whisker, from an England team that massacred the French everywhere bar the scoreboard.

Now the latest spin apparently suggests Warren Gatland and the all- conquering Welsh Lions are tired after their summer endeavours Down Under (oh, and by the way most of these guys now ply their trade in France).

Who invents this stuff? Professional sportsmen who play rugby for their daily bread, and they're tired six months on? Will someone please get a grip?

PS – Don't forget to get to Donnybrook on Thursday (6.30 kick-off) to see the best of emerging schoolboy talent in aid of the Jack Kavanagh Trust. The last few tickets are available from Derville Stacey on 086 8158879 or

Irish Independent

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