Liam Toland: Dark trenches are no place for green jerseys

Rucking game is already rumbled while the lineout malfunction added to Ireland’s woes

England’s lock Maro Itoje wins the ball at the lineout during the victory over Ireland at Twickenham. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

England’s lock Maro Itoje wins the ball at the lineout during the victory over Ireland at Twickenham. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

When Joe Schmidt makes the next cut for Japan bar Cian Healy and Rob Kearney no one starting last Saturday is safe, especially the leadership.

However, one must frame last Saturday as firstly, crucially needed preparation and secondly ask: was this a team malfunction impacting the individual or vice versa?

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.