Friday 23 March 2018

Neil Francis' Ireland/Wales combined 15

Independent Newsdesk

Independent Newsdesk

This Saturday sees Ireland travel to play Wales in the crunch game in this year's Six Nations Championship and while we know Warren Gatland prefers Welshmen over Irishmen in his team, we asked Independent columnist Neil Francis to pick his combined 15 between the two nations.

Meanwhile, Irish Independent rugby correspondent, Ruaidhri O'Connor, has also gone for the 10 Irish in his combined 15, although he has no room for Jack McGrath or Jamie Heaslip.

Gatland became public enemy number one when he axed Irish golden boy Brian O'Driscoll from his Lions team with Wales' Jamie Roberts getting the nod instead.

That victorious Lions team was top heavy with Welsh stars, somewhat vindicating Gatland's selection, but it left a bad taste on this side of the Irish sea.

With two of the heavyweights of this year's competition facing off on Saturday, there is no shortage of talent on show and our man Franciswho won 36 caps for Ireland between 1987 and 1996, has gone for 10 Irish and four Welsh in his combined 15.


Rob Kearney; George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Mike Ross; Alun-Wyn Jones, Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip.


Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Robbie Henshaw, Jamie Roberts, George North; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Gethin Jenkins, Rory Best, Mike Ross; Alun-Wyn Jones, Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien, Taulupe Faletau

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