Saturday 17 February 2018

'We play boring rugby'- George Hook gives Ireland little chance against Wales

Joe Schmidt and Johnny Sexton and (inset) George Hook
Joe Schmidt and Johnny Sexton and (inset) George Hook

Tom Rooney

True to form, Irish Independent columnist George Hook doesn’t see Ireland getting a positive result against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Following more World Cup disappointment, Hook was one of many commentators agitating for Joe Schmidt to pick a new-look outfit for Championship, as well as employing a more expansive game plan.

Speaking to Irish Independent rugby correspondent Ruaidhri O’Connor, Hook said that home field advantage and the lack of error in a side under Schmidt were the best possible paths to victory, though he wasn’t optimistic.

“The biggest argument for Ireland to win this fixture is that they’re at home, and that counts for a lot. Even if Schmidt picks Schmidt’s team, rather than George’s team, then he picks a team that doesn’t make mistakes, that’s the Schmidt way.

“We play pretty boring rugby, we’re the only country in the world that doesn’t offload, we don’t get the ball into wide spaces on the wing, and don’t make mistakes. It’s possible that could win. It’s possible but unlikely. “

Hook went to lambast the IRFU’s policy of being hesitant to select players plying their trade in other countries.

“Another thing that’s claptrap by Ireland is that we won’t pick players that go abroad. That’s nonsense. Argentina have 90% of their players playing abroad and they get to a World Cup semi-final. Are we seriously suggesting that we go into a Six Nations or a World Cup and not pick player A,B or C that is best in their position? That’s painting ourselves into a nonsense corner.”

You can watch exclusive analysis from George Hook and his panel only on before, during and after every Ireland game in this year's Six Nations. And if you have a question, tweet @IndoSport and use the hashtag #AskGeorge

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