Monday 17 December 2018

The Left Wing: Ireland's hooker situation, centre selection dilemma and Joe Schmidt's coaching future

Rory Best (left), Bundee Aki (centre) and Joe Schmidt (right).
Rory Best (left), Bundee Aki (centre) and Joe Schmidt (right).
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

On this week's episode of The Left Wing, Will Slattery and Luke Fitzgerald are joined Irish Independent rugby correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor to preview the November internationals.

Ireland face Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and USA in an action-packed four-match schedule and the lads break down the various selection headaches Joe Schmidt has as he attempts to select his best team from a very strong squad.

Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose are fighting for two starting spots in the centre and Luke thinks that Ringrose is the one player of the three who is nailed on. At hooker, 36-year-old Rory Best is expected to start against the All Blacks but Luke says that Niall Scannell and Sean Cronin should both be ahead of him.

There's also the small matter of Joe Schmidt deciding his Ireland future - should Schmidt extend his stay for another four years or will his tenure reach its natural conclusion after the World Cup?

England's struggles under Eddie Jones, Ireland's deep back row and the Conor Murray conspiracy theories are also up for discussion.

Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

Listen and subscribe to The Left Wing on iTunes and Soundcloud

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport