Limited changes expected to Six Nations XV; Absurd double-jobbing in the GAA

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Only four new faces come into Andy Farrell’s squad following a successful Autumn campaign. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Only four new faces come into Andy Farrell’s squad following a successful Autumn campaign. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Not too many changes then from Ireland’s Autumn Nations Series group in Andy Farrell’s 37-man squad for the upcoming Six Nations. As Gerry Thornley casts his eye over those named, there must be some concern that bulk suppliers Leinster and Munster have not had as much game time in the last few months as would be desired, but all in all, the team which will face Wales in just over a fortnight will invariably closely resemble the team which beat New Zealand, save for maybe two or three changes. The issue of crowd attendance at the upcoming tournament remains up in the air, but Aviva Stadium director Martin Murphy has gone public in making his feelings known around mandatory mask wearing in the stands if indeed it is still NPHET’s position that they should be worn in crowded spaces.

Ciarán Murphy’s column this morning deals with double-jobbing in the GAA after Jack Savage and Tony Brosnan last week played both in a Sigerson Cup match and for their county, Kerry, on the same day. Player welfare obviously has to be called into question here, but neither of their respective managers was able to step up and take the decision out of the players’ hands - they are always going to be their own worst enemies in terms of wanting to play every possible second. As Murphy points out: “The power imbalance here is so stark as to hardly need emphasising, but Kerry have more good footballers than any other county in the country.” In terms of last night’s results, Laois booked a spot in the O’Byrne Cup final with a dramatic shootout victory over Kildare. Their opponents in the final, Dublin, have been taking a more competitive approach to their preseason this year, according to Niall Scully.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.