Gerry Thornley: Toner and Addison the fall guys as Schmidt opts for physicality

Leaving out Leinster lock something of a gamble given Ireland’s recent lineout struggles

Ireland fullback Will Addison looked as if he could offer the team something different in the match against Wales. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland fullback Will Addison looked as if he could offer the team something different in the match against Wales. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Amid all the many balancing acts that the Ireland coaches would have considered in their deliberations on Sunday, seemingly high among them was physicality. Size matters.

That has been hammered home to Joe Schmidt and his assistant coaches in this calendar year, with England’s 57-15 win over Ireland last Saturday week underlining the message. Whatever about Scotland and Japan, they must also have had one eye on a prospective quarter-final against South Africa or New Zealand.

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