Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ireland's tailgunners

Simon Easterby

Height: 6' 4'' , Caps: 65

Eddie O'Sullivan's go-to pick on the blindside flank and a go-to option at the back. Easterby was an excellent line-out operator, with good athleticism and hands and proved just as effective there for the Lions in 2005.

Alan Quinlan

Height: 6' 3'', Caps: 27

Line-out jumping is one of the key weapons in Quinlan's armoury. The Tipperary man generally lost out to Easterby in the Irish back-row but had the height and skills to make him a secure option when he was called upon.

Brian Spillane

Height: 6' 5'', Caps: 13

The Bohemians man was an excellent jumper at the back in the pre-lifting days of deflected possession. It was his tap-back that set up the winning try for Trevor Ringland against Scotland in Ireland's Triple Crown year of 1985.

Mike Gibson

Height: 6' 6'', Caps: 10

The London Irish No 8 played in the Willie Duggan/Spillane era, which meant he only accumulated 10 caps between 1979 and 1988. A superb jumper at six.

And the best now ...

Kevin McLaughlin

Height: 6'4'', Caps: 1

The Leinster man is not in the squad at the moment having only recently recovered from injury, but provides a third option in the line-out with the ability to make it an effective one.

Irish Independent

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