Ireland have almost full squad for England Match

Scrum-half, Eoin Reddan is the only injury worry for Declan Kidney’s Ireland ahead of next Saturday’s clash with England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Reddan played less than a minute of the 6 point defeat to Wales in Cardiff last Saturday after getting a blow to the face from the ball as he cblocked down a clearance kick from Lee Byrne of Wales.

Reddan suffered concussion as a result of the blow and was replaced immediately by Peter Stringer. Reddan is being monitoried by the Irish medical team his week and will see a neurologist as part of the injury management process.

The starting line-up for the final game of the Six Nations will be named by Declan Kidney tomorrow afternoon and Reddan is still officially in contention for a place.

The game takes on a special role as, although an Irish Triple Crown is now out of reach, Ireland have the motivation to deny England their first Grand Slam since they were victorious at the same venue (albeit the old stadium) 8 years ago.

Dublin hotels are almost sold out for weeks in advance of the game, however the historic nature of the occasion for England has seen a surge of enquiries to hotels near the aviva stadium in recent days, particularly from English fans.

While hotels nearby are almost certainly full, don’t rule out the option of staying in a hotel on the periphery, particularly a hotel near a tram stop like Moran’s Red Cow hotel.


A Rugby quadruple for 8 Munster Rugby Lions?

As the chance of a historic treble for 14 Munster Rugby players gets closer, yesterday saw the emergence of a possible 2009 Quadruple for 8 of them.

For Paul O’Connell and 7 of his Munster team mates, there is an opportunity to take home 4 major honours this year;
Having already won the 6-Nations Grand Slam with Ireland, they are hot favourites for the Magners League and have taken a step closer to retaining the Heineken Cup.
If they overcome Leinster in the semifinal of that competition and go on to win the Final on May 23rd, 8 of the team depart for the Lions Tour of South Africa the next day already having achieved a historic Treble.

Then comes the chance to cap it off by winning the Lions Tour test series against the Springboks….What a year it would be!

Munster Rugby – The Treble is on!

Following the historic success of Ireland in the 6 nations last weekend, the vision in Munster Rugby circles has switched to dreams of a Treble for so many of the Munster players.

This is not to disrespect in any way whatsoever the achievement of Ireland and the contribution of non-Munster players. In fact it was a source of great pride to see the national team play as one again and dispelling talk of internal cliques.

The reality is, however, that for 11 Munster players who played for Ireland during the 2009 6 nations championship there is an opportunity to complete an unprecedented treble this year.
1. The Grand-Slam has already been done with Ireland
2. They are leading the Magners League
3. They have qualified for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup and are currently 7-4 favourites to retain it with PaddyPower

Retaining the Heineken Cup will not be easy and they have some difficult games ahead of them but they  never had it easy either in 2006 or 2008 when they emerged victorious. Now that the stereotype of the Irish good loser has been blown away for ever, the sky is the limit!