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.

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Paul O’Connell to captain Lions | British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa 2009


Munster Rugby  skipper, Paul O’Connell, has been named as captain of the Lions team to tour South Africa next month

The team that has just been annopunced includes a 14 of the Grand-Slam winning Irish squad. with 8 of them coming from the Munster team.

O’Connell becomes the tenth Irish captain of a Lions touring party and the 8th since the second World War.

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!

Declan Kidney masterminds historic Ireland victory over France


Ireland beat France by 30 points to 21 in Croke Park on the opening day of the Six Nations.

Superb performances from Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara and man of the match, Jamie Heaslip, ended a run of 7 losses to France and in the process saw Ireland score 3 tries against French opposition for the first time in 100 years.

In a scene reminiscant of his early career, a try by O’Driscoll was particularly pleasing with the Ireland skipper showing the acceleration and finishing ability that seemed to be on the wane in recent seasons.

Six Nations Fixtures 2009 – European Rugby


Well, a new year is upon us and the 6-nations Rugby season is fast approaching.

Every year I struggle to remember who is playing who ….and when! My lack of attention even meant I got married on the day that Ireland beat England at Twickenham in 2006 to win the Triple Crown, now no self respecting Irish Rugby fan would deliberatley plan that, would he?

Since then I’ve taken note of all the 6 nations fixtures very early so that if I’m planning anything, I’ll be aware of any clashes.
For anyone with a similar disposition, here is the full 2009 fixtures list: Continue reading

Ireland draw Australia in Rugby World Cup 2011


The draw for the 2011 RWC sees Ireland up against Australia in Pool C.

Ireland maintained their second tier seeding by beating the Pumas just over a week ago.

Ireland will also be joined by fellow 6Nations country, Italy with the last two places being decided by a qualifier series over the next 2 years.

The 4 pools are as follows:
Continue reading

New Ireland squad named by Declan Kidney


A 45 man Ireland rugby squad, the first under new manager Declan Kidney, has been named to take part in a pre-season gathering.

The squad includes the players who toured New Zealand and Australia as well as 11 players from the Churchill Cup squad. These include Donncha Ryan and Keith Earls, both of whom will be involved in their first ever Ireland camp.

Gordon D’Arcy, who missed most of the 6-Nations Championship and the remainder of the season after breaking his arm in the clash with Italy, makes a welcome return as do Andrew Trimble and Leo Cullen who both missedteh tour down-under due to injury.

The four day camp takes place in Cork from Tuesday next and will be form part of the player’s pre-season fitness and conditioning plans in conction with their clubs

Former Munster Rugby coach, Declan Kidney said today: ‘The camp is an opportunity for the coaching staff to work with the players and set some foundations ahead of what is going to be an important November for us. We have a new blend of experience in the coaching staff and we felt that this camp would be key to getting the ideas of both the staff and players across ahead of the new season.’

he continued; ‘Once we get into September, it really is a short space of time before we will arrive at our first camp ahead of the November games, so it will be important to our preparation. It is an exciting time and both the coaching staff and myself are looking forward to getting down to business and working with what is a talented squad of players.’

The 45 man squad is as follows:
Neil Best, Rory Best, Isaac Boss, Tommy Bowe, Tony Buckley, Ryan Caldwell, Robert Casey, Tom Court, Leo Cullen, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey, Ian Dowling, Gavin Duffy, Keith Earls, Stephen Ferris, Luke Fitzgerald, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Marcus Horan, Shane Horgan, Bernard Jackman, Shane Jennings, Robert Kearney, Denis Leamy, Geordan Murphy, Tomas O’Leary, Alan Quinlan, Eoin Reddan, Michael Ross, Donncha Ryan, Jonathan Sexton, Peter Stringer, Donncha O’ Callaghan, Paul O’ Connell, Ronan O’ Gara, Malcolm O’ Kelly, Brian O’Driscoll, Mick O’Driscoll, Andrew Trimble, David Wallace, Paddy Wallace, Roger Wilson, Bryan Young.