Click here for photos of the Irish squad’s training session at St. Gerard’s School in Bray on Wednesday.
Pictured above: The Ireland squad huddle at Wednesday’s training session at St. Gerard’s School in Bray.
Eddie O’Sullivan talks tactics with defensive coach Graham Steadman. O’Sullivan has brought Andrew Trimble, Marcus Horan and Donncha O’Callaghan into the Irish side for Sunday’s crunch clash with Wales. The Corkman said: ” Andrew (Trimble) getting in was just a selection issue. He came off the bench in Paris and did well. It’s a tough call on Tommy (Bowe) who hasn’t done too badly but Andrew is looking better in that position.
“I think Tommy is disappointed with himself. He’s not playing to the best of his ability but he’s still young.”
O’Sullivan added on the subject of Girvan Dempsey making the bench: “Girvan’s been on a very good run of form and I thought when we picked the original squad of 22 from the 30, he was unlucky not to be in it because he is playing, I believe, his best rugby this season with Leinster.
“When you are picking a bench position you can either pick an impact player – and I believe Girvan can have an impact on the game – but also I got to look at covering injury situations and we have enough cover for wing and centre on the field at the moment and we needed cover for full-back. So it’s a no brainer then to put Girvan on the bench for that reason.”
Brian O’Driscoll who will captain Ireland for the 25th time on Sunday. O’Driscoll is looking forward to seeing Andrew Trimble make his first start in the 6 Nations Championship. The Leinster skipper said: “He (Trimble) looks really sharp at training. He’s taken his chance when he has come on in games, or when he started games in November, and he thoroughly deserves his opportunity to be in the starting 15.
“He is a very exciting talent and a guy that is going to be there for the future and I don’t see any reason why he can’t cement a place down now for himself – whether it be in the centre or whether it be on the wing – I think he is equally adaptable to either position.”
Andrew Trimble practices his kicking at St. Gerard’s.
Ireland’s most-capped player Malcolm O’Kelly makes a last gasp bid for the full-back position as he catches a drooping ball with Marcus Horan in close attendance.
Donncha O’Callaghan and Marcus Horan share a joke as training comes to a close.
**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**