Who does Eddie O'Sullivan see as the right fit to replace Henshaw?
Former Ireland head coach joined Joe on Monday Night Rugby20:28 Monday 12 February 2018, 20:28 12 Feb 2018
It was job done for Ireland against Italy in a comprehensive win in their second Six Nations fixture.
But it came at a considerable cost with Robbie Henshaw ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a shoulder injury sustained while scoring a try, although a hamstring injury to prop Tadhg Furlong is not as bad as first feared - as the man himself told Ger and Eoin on OTB AM in an interview you can watch in full on all our social channels from 7.45AM Tuesday.
🏉 There were injury worries over @tadhgfurlong after #IREvITA— Off The Ball (@offtheball) February 12, 2018
But the news is encouraging as the man himself told @gergilroy @EoinSheahan
📺 Full interview on @OffTheBallAM tomorrow morning. Tune in from 7.45AM #OTBAM @VodafoneIreland #TeamOfUs pic.twitter.com/d0eBaGXsDi
Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan shared his thoughts on who can replace Henshaw and partner Bundee Aki in the centre, especially with Garry Ringrose's return date unclear.
"If Ringrose comes back, the problem is he's played little or no rugby [and] to throw him straight in to a Six Nations test game would be a huge risk just from match practice point of view," said Eddie who described Henshaw's enforced absence as a "huge loss".
"The obvious one going on the Autumn is Chris Farrell. He did pretty well and he would have played with Bundee Aki in that game and it keeps everybody else, all the chess pieces in the same place.
"If you start twiddling around, Keith Earls is another one but his experience at outside centre is very limited. Carbery's another one but again he's not an outside centre. He struggled physically in that position. So McCloskey's another one. The problem with McCloskey is he's an inside centre which probably means bumping Bundee Aki to outside.
"People talk about outside centre about being able to distribute but the truth of the matter is the bigger problem is defence and I'm really impressed with the way Henshaw jumps into the 13 slot and defended really well in that place and it takes a lot of work."
And in terms of defence, "all the names on that list bar Garry Ringrose would not be of that calibre, let's be fair and even the obvious choice I think Chris Farrell wouldn't be up to that speed."
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