"That's Armageddon" - Matt Williams fears the worst case Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray scenario

He and Eddie O'Sullivan join Joe on Monday Night Rugby

BY Raf Diallo 20:30 Monday 25 June 2018, 20:30 25 Jun 2018

For the first time since 1979 , Ireland have beaten Australia in a test series and set themselves up nicely for a tilt at Rugby World Cup glory next Autumn. 

As thoughts turn on how to build on the late success in 2018 for Joe Schmidt's side, Joe Molloy was joined on Monday Night Rugby by former Leinster head coach Matt Williams and ex-Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

Filling out the squad in terms of fringe players gaining more test experience was one consideration. But Eddie and Matt highlight a few areas of worry.

The half-back area is one that Matt pointed out with Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray as one of the best partnerships in the world but with an inexperienced supporting cast.  

"I would have liked Conor Murray not to have played a game and one of the 9s. Now, I understand why [he played]," said Matt.

"Johnny Sexton and he are the best half-back pairing in the world behind the New Zealanders and they'll win games. 

"If we lose one or both of them, that's Armageddon for the team. And we desperately need to give other 9s and 10s time."

Meanwhile, Munster new boy Joey Carbery who started at 10 in the opening test loss to Australia, is an option at full back to support Rob Kearney.

But overall, Eddie feels Andrew Conway of Munster would be the most natural option in line behind Kearney.

However, he brought out of the Simon Zebo factor, with the former Munster wing now ineligible having moved abroad to Racing 92.

"The obvious solution for me is Zebo," he said.

"Let's be honest, that's the guy who I think is the next best full back in Ireland after Rob Kearney."

You can listen to the full chat on the podcast player.


Ian Madigan: I want to be Ireland's 10

19:45 Monday 25 June 2018 2 Minute Read

"It's been an unbelievable season - without doubt - our greatest ever year"

12:23 Monday 25 June 2018 2 Minute Read

"Looking at the four teams coming into this from the provincial finals, there were heavy beatings for most of them"

11:42 Monday 25 June 2018 2 Minute Read

Donn McClean's inside track on Cheltenham Day 2

19:15 Tuesday 14 March 2017 3 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week