Tommy Bowe expected to line up against Australia
Ireland winger set to win 53rd cap against the Wallabies
Tommy Bowe trained with the Ireland squad on Tuesday ahead of next Saturday’s game against Australia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Despite the managing of player workloads, namely Seán O’Brien, in Carton House this week the Irish management were able to report that Tommy Bowe, who picked up a bruised calf against Samoa, trained and is expected to win his 53rd cap against Australia on Saturday.
It looks like a straight call between Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy.
Defence coach Les Kiss spoke yesterday about the value of Toner on the tour of North America last summer, when he ran the lineout, a duty he also admirably completed in last Saturday’s 40-9 defeat of Samoa. He continued to make the calls even when O’Connell came into the fray on 54 minutes.
But that would mean going into battle without McCarthy, a player who brings “a bit of mongrel” to proceedings, as Kiss noted this afternoon.
McCarthy appears the marginal favourite as he is a tighthead lock by trade, but O’Connell can and has played in both positions.
Kiss, incidentally, was assistant to Wallaby head coach Ewen McKenzie at the New South Wales Waratahs until being hired before the IRFU for the 2009/09 season.
Other positions under serious review are scrumhalf, inside centre, outhalf and openside flanker.
Last weekend’s official man of the match, Jack McGrath, will come under pressure from Leinster team-mate Cian Healy. Declan Fitzpatrick was slated to do media yesterday so that indicates the Ulster prop will be retained in the 23 as cover for Mike Ross.
Both Ireland and Australia release their teams on Thursday.