Rugby

Eddie O'Sullivan highlights Ireland's Rob Kearney "risk"

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

05:20 28 Jan 2019


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It's that time of year again! The Six Nations is back and we'll be bringing you along for the ride.

We got the oval ball rolling on Monday Night Rugby as Eddie O'Sullivan and Matt Williams joined us.

Ireland full back Rob Kearney struggled against Scarlets early on as he bounces back from injury. One week before Saturday's Six Nations opener against England, that is a concern.

Eddie O'Sullivan highlights Ireland's Rob Kearney "risk"

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"I think he'll start against England," said Eddie, factoring in head coach Joe Schmidt's likely thought process.

"Joe Schmidt values him very highly as a player and rightly so. He's the most decorated full back in the history of Irish rugby. And we've had some very good full backs in Irish rugby.

"Not Risk Free"

"But there is a risk here because if you go back over Rob's playing history, he's had terrible times with injury. He has struggled at times to find his feet. He's come back from injury and it's taken time to find his form.

"Last year in the Six Nations, he was magnificent because he had a very good run of form into it. So I think [Schmidt] will pick him but there is a little risk in it that he hasn't played a lot of rugby. You saw that Friday night. In fairness, he called himself out on the missed tackles and didn't try and hide from it.

"But I think he'll feel a bit of pressure and maybe there might be another little conversation like before the game in Chicago."

Eddie also added that Kearney's experience and know-how will lean Schmidt towards picking him. But he did reiterate: "It's not risk-free doing that at the moment".

On the centre debate, Eddie and Matt both believe Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw should be the leading partnership.

Eddie and Matt also discussed the issue of spying in rugby after Joe Schmidt claimed Ireland were victims of the practice.

"I know that it used to go on but I'm a bit shocked that it's still there," said Matt.

Eddie added that with widespread video analysis, spying does not add much to teams' preparations. He described it as a "pointless exercise now".

 

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Eddie O'Sullivan England Ireland Matt Williams Off The Ball Rugby Six Nations Six Nations 2019

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