Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Any team would miss two world class players like Ringrose and Beirne (and Henderson, Bealham and Kelleher aren't bad either!) But considering those injuries, this is about as good as it gets for Ireland. England are missing Courtney Lawes, Chessum , Lawrence and Cowan-Dickie and are thus in a roughly equivalent position. This is a fair test of where the two sides are coming up to the World cup, not to mention Ireland's grand slam ambitions. No excuses. Time to deliver!

With so few scrums in the game nowadays, the importance of having a big heavy lump of a man at lock has diminished. The number of mauls also seems to have diminished which favours the faster players in the loose. This will be the first time Baird has started against a big international pack. (Leinster have also tended to favour Molony over him at lock and have played him mostly at 6). At 23 years of age, he has time on his side and this is a huge opportunity for him to move up the pecking order. He would be an ideal man to have on the bench covering 4, 5, and 6 (and even 7 against a huge pack like SA!).

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 16th, 2023 at 08:32:26 PM EST
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