Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish winners and losers


Andrew Trimble

Earns a deserved chance after battling back from injury with strong showings for Ulster. Faces a major task shackling Chris Ashton but has all the tools for the job.

Jonathan Sexton

A quality operator with a long Ireland career ahead of him but not the form selection for this match.

Paddy Wallace

Continues to provide backline cover despite an unhappy, try-spurning appearance off the bench in Cardiff.


Ronan O'Gara

Had done more than enough to re-establish himself as Ireland's first-choice 10, but now has to do it all over again.

Luke Fitzgerald

A confidence-denting championship at full-back ends with the Leinster man dropping out of the squad entirely. A superb player who needs a big response with his province.

Fergus McFadden

Andrew Trimble is parachuted straight back into the team but McFadden cannot force his way back into the 22 despite the issues raised last weekend.

Leo Cullen

Donncha O'Callaghan is having a good championship but, on the basis of not becoming too dependent on one man, this would have been a good chance to give the Leinster captain a run with no loss of front-five effectiveness.

Irish Independent

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