Darragh Ó Sé on GAA’s disdain for player welfare; Ireland facing prop conundrum

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Ireland players train at Carton House yesterday ahead of their opening World Cup warm-up match against Italy. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland players train at Carton House yesterday ahead of their opening World Cup warm-up match against Italy. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

If there’s one thing that can always be guaranteed in the GAA it’s the questioning (and subsequent changing) of formats. It’s been just two seasons since the Super 8s came into being and already they look like they may be on death row. This morning Darragh Ó Sé has some pretty strong words about the scheduling of the matches saying that it shows the GAA’s disdain for player welfare. “It’s seriously wrong to give players only six or seven days to prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final. I don’t know who is responsible for that but I can tell you for damn sure they never played in one,” he writes. Meanwhile Seán Moran also ponders what the GAA’s priorities are and whether they even know themselves. “GAA supporters have a fairly low boredom threshold if things aren’t going well and that won’t change in the years ahead,” he writes. Anyway, the Super 8s are indeed over now and this weekend will see the two semi-finals take place. On Sunday Kerry will meet Tyrone and Ian O’Riordan writes this morning that this will be a big test of the maturity of this young Kerry team. Meanwhile, a new batch of tickets for the All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Mayo are due to go on sale after chaos online and at ticket offices yesterday which saw numerous customers complaining.

On to rugby and Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek is well aware that he and the rest of the management team have a big conundrum on their hands when it comes to the position of prop as the World Cup looms. “I think there’s experience there. A lot of the guys have had bloody noses. They’ve had some good days and they’ve had some bad days and that’s important for the World Cup as well,” he said yesterday. Meanwhile, opportunity knocks for Tommy O’Donnell who has had a number of injury setbacks over the years but will now most likely get the chance to impress against Italy on Saturday. After picking up a hip injury before the 2015 World Cup O’Donnell says it brought him to really question a lot of things. “The first few days, at the time, I didn’t know if I was ever going to play again. So to be able to get back, rehab and to be back on the field within 16 weeks, there were a lot more positives to play off there rather than thinking ‘Oh I missed out on a World Cup’. It’s four years later and I’m still playing rugby. If you were to give me those two situations, I would much happier be in this situation here,” he said.

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