Ireland looking thin in midfield; Airtricity League returns
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Rory McIlroy putts on the 12th hole during the first round of the Genesis Invitational in Pacific Palisades, California. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
Still a week to go before Ireland take on England for the Triple Crown but preparations are ramping up in Cork. This morning Gerry Thornley writes that Ireland’s midfield options are looking slimmer with Garry Ringrose not expected to recover in time while Will Addison is still battling a troublesome calf. The meeting between the sides will pit Andy Farrell against his son Owen for the first time with Farrell senior as head coach. The Ireland coach says that the dynamic is a bit strange but it’s strictly professional with both men used to it at this stage. Don’t forget that you can keep up to date with all of the Six Nations action including previews, reports, analysis, interviews, features, news and more on our dedicated 2020 Six Nations website.
Staying with rugby but moving to the schools side of things and former IRFU referee director Owen Doyle writes this morning about his recent experience at schools rugby and how there is a toxic atmosphere building up around it. “It is an intimidating place, the language is foul and the verbal abuse of match officials and of opposing players is appalling,” he writes. “The throwing-in hooker, who is but a couple of metres away, gets a particularly torrid time. I also heard some comments that could only be described as on the cusp of racial abuse. The use of flares is both frightening and dangerous.”