All in the Scrum



Doping draws contrasting opinions

The IRB anti-doping advisory committee, which includes Felipe Contepomi, met in Dublin last week. There was no formal announcement or comment except to reveal some good news. “In 2012 the IRB undertook 1,542 in- and out-of-competition controls across IRB tournaments and events with 21 confirmed anti-doping rule violations, equating to one per cent of the entire programme,” said IRB anti-doping manager Tim Ricketts.

Contrast that with the comments of former Munster and Ireland winger Brian Carney on Newstalk’s Off the Ball: “Look, we just have to take our heads out of the sand. You just got to look at some people’s body shapes and face shapes. They change if you are taking human growth hormones. You’ll see people with bigger jaws, gaps in their teeth and lumps above their eyes brows. Sometimes it is classic evidence of steroid abuse.”

IRB chief executive Brett Gosper tweeted: “Education is critical to prevention #KeepRugbyClean.” There is a dedicated website:

Gosper also revealed the ongoing scrum problems will be discussed by an IRB committee, chaired by former All Black flanker and coach Graham Mourie, next month.

Murphy doing fine Down Under

There will be Leinster interest in Super Rugby over the next two seasons as former Castleknock College prop Ruaidhrí Murphy (right) is providing cover on the ACT Brumbies bench, while Leinster’s fourth choice hooker Tom Sexton will join the Melbourne Rebels in 2014.

Despite playing age grade for Ireland, the 23-year-old Sexton has been unable to break into the Leinster squad.

He was born in Melbourne and lived there as a child.

Murphy was a sub in the Brumbies 24-6 victory over Queensland Reds on Saturday.

Ireland injured XV

With a break this weekend in the Six Nations Championship, instead of the All in the Scrum Lions XV, we have decided to list an Irish XV made up of unavailable players, in what has been a particularly injury disrupted campaign for all four provinces.

Granted, Declan Fitzpatrick has been listed as fit, but he pulled up for the umpteenth time for Ulster on Friday night victory against Italian side Zebre.

(Yes, we know Isa Nacewa is Fijian but Gavin Duffy returned for Connacht on Friday).

IRELAND INJURED XV: I Nacewa; T Bowe, G D’Arcy, L Marshall, S Zebo; J Sexton, P Marshall/T O’Leary; C Healy, R Strauss, D Fitzpatrick/N White; M McCarthy, P O’Connell (capt); S Ferris, I Henderson, G Naoupu.

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