OTB AM Depth Chart: Here's Ire...


OTB AM Depth Chart: Here's Ireland's strongest XV

Darren Cleary
Darren Cleary

10:49 31 Jan 2019

Share this article

OTB AM have spent the last few weeks picking the sizable rugby brains of some former Ireland internationals to discover the strongest Ireland XV.

Heading into the final run-in to this year's Rugby World Cup, OTB AM explored Ireland's options across the pitch.

Our brains trust made up of Brian O’Driscoll, Tommy Bowe, Bernard Jackman, Mike McCarthy and Andy Dunne have represented Ireland a combined total of 257 times.

Joe Schmidt looks set to spring a surprise for the opening game of the Six Nations against England. Robbie Henshaw is expected to get the nod at full-back in place of Rob Kearney.

The former Connacht centre made his Ireland debut in the 15 shirt back in 2013 but has played in midfield under Joe Schmidt ever since.

Brian O’Driscoll feels Ireland’s strongest centre pairing is Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose.

His former Leinster teammate Andy Dunne has gone with a tried and trusted partnership. He's picked Johnny Sexton at out-half and Conor Murray at scrum-half.

The Munster man is set to be one of two changes to the team that defeated New Zealand in November.

Alan Quinlan selected the back-row, Peter O’Mahony was the obvious choice at blindside, CJ Stander is his pick for number 8 with Quinny feeling Sean O’Brien is the strongest option at openside.

Explaining his decision Quinlan said: "Sean O’Brien is just a different level with his aggression, his experience and what he’s achieved."

Bernard Jackman came into studio to assess the front row options, Tadhg Furlong starting is the easiest call any coach could make.

Skipper Rory Best is the preferred option at hooker, with Cian Healy the best loosehead option according to the former Dragons head coach.

Mike McCarthy was tasked with selecting the second row. He staunchly defended his first choice option Devin Toner and feels his former Leinster team mate with operate best alongside James Ryan.

You can watch all of the conversations surrounding the depth of Ireland's squad on the OTB YouTube channel.

Ireland’s Strongest XV

15 Rob Kearney

14 Keith Earls

13 Garry Ringrose

12 Robbie Henshaw

11 Jacob Stockdale

10 Johnny Sexton

9 Conor Murray

1 Cian Healy

2 Rory Best

3 Tadhg Furlong

4 James Ryan

5 Devin Toner

6 Peter O’Mahony

7 Sean O’Brien

8 CJ Stander



Share this article

Read more about

Depth Chart Ireland Otb Am Rugby Six Nations

You might like