Wednesday 24 January 2018

Video: George Hook reveals how Ireland could be playing fantasy rugby in Six Nations

Harry Clarke

Ireland should be playing Six Nations Fantasy rugby instead of picking up the pieces following another tournament defeat, according to George Hook.

The Irish Independent columnist says that the players can hold their heads up high despite being on the wrong end of a 21-10 scoreline at Twickenham yesterday and the blame for a forgetful few weeks lies solely with manager Joe Schmidt.

Speaking on's live Six Nations coverage, Hook spoke passionately about the vision he has for this Ireland team.

"Our one chance to pull that match out of the fire was McCloskey and Henshaw and Henshaw, almost by himself, nearly did it," said Hook.

"Now imagine, just think for a moment, it's fantasy stuff but imagine McCloskey and Ringrose and Henshaw coming from the back with that kind of pace.

"We have lost a rugby match because the same faults remain," added Hook.

"Look at McCloskey today. Would any reasonable person say McCloskey had a good game today? I think they would so where had he been? Henshaw as an outside centre is immeasurable better and this coach has him as an inside centre chopping wood and drawing water."

Hook believes one person who should make way is Rob Kearney.

“Saying Rob Kearney caught the ball, that’s what he is paid to do. He is a one-trick pony. Absolutely a one-trick pony. His career is coming to an end," added Hook.

Eddie Jones came in for plenty of criticism during the week when the England coach suggested that Johnny Sexton’s parents must be worried about the constant injuries the Irishman has suffered.

And although Hook says there is some merit in what Jones says, he has labelled the Aussie as the enfant terriblé of the Six Nations, overtaking Wales coach Warren Gatland.

Hook said: “Maybe Eddie Jones meant what he said (about Sexton).

“Has he gone beyond the pale? Probably. Is there merit to what he says? There is.

“Warren Gatland used to be the enfant terrible of the Six nations. Eddie Jones has taken it to a new level.”

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