Ulsterman to lead Ireland

Lets hear it for Eddie O’Sullivan. Not only is David Humphries starting the game on Saturday against Romania, but he’s to lead the team. Arguably this is the first chance he’s had to take risks with the team, but New Zealand’s superlative performances demonstrated that you need to a squad not simply a single team to compete in world rugby. Let’s hope his change of strategy pays dividends on Saturday!

  • seabhac siulach

    Nice to see an ulster protestant willing to take the lead in something…makes a change.
    Wish his fellow co-religionists in the 6 counties could take the hint…as regards politics, Stormont, etc.
    Instead of sitting about whingeing whenever an unaccountable British minister does his job.

    Strange that in an all-Ireland team these ulster protestants are not being discriminated against…fancy that. Maybe a lesson in that for ye all…

    Good luck to David H. and the boys on Saturday!
    The all-Ireland nature of the team gives hope.

  • George

    Take risks against Romania! Have we fallen this low?

    Good luck to Humphreys but will he be around in 2007 for the World Cup? No.

    He’s 34 so really O’Sullivan should be looking for someone else.

    With 18 months to go, it’s probably too late.

  • idunnomeself

    well he has O’Gara. Problem is he had a mare against the Aussies and lost the game for us. Where is the young fly half? Ulster’s Paddy Wallace hasn’t come on like we hoped he would.

    Ask any Ulster supporter and they’ll tell you that you have to do a lot more to get on the Ireland team than you do if play for Leinster or Munster..
    (although Connaught players might as well not bother!)

    About time wee Kieran got his chance, he’s a good player, better options than Stringer

  • Aaron

    Hmm. If I recall correctly, Humph led the team in the equivalent game last year, against the USA. That didn’t do us much good.

    I’m have put Geordan Murphy at 10, myself. Just for the craic. That’s probably why I don’t coach Ireland.

  • Aaron

    “Ask any Ulster supporter and they’ll tell you that you have to do a lot more to get on the Ireland team than you do if play for Leinster or Munster..
    (although Connaught players might as well not bother!)”

    As an Ulster fan myself, that’s why you shouldn’t ask us anything. Every rugby fan in the land has a story about why their team is discriminated against. Ulster just haven’t been any good for a number of seasons.

  • Lafcadio

    Humphreys is one of the most naturally gifted players of his generation, and it’s great to see him hit good form again this year. However as george says above, this is more of a reflection of a serious weakness in a key position than anything else.. O’Gara has been very poor in the first two tests, and there seems to be absolutely no plan B for EOS (now why does that sound familiar??)

  • Mick Fealty

    Humphries is certainly a factor. My own (dodgy?) theory is that O’Gara was given the impression he’d won a face of with Humphries for the slot. O’Gara’s a good (and on occasions brilliant) player. But I think he might have felt less pressure to perform consistently if he’d had to compete for the slot.

    Spilt milk and all that.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    O Sullivan’s obsession with set plays has not made the most of the talent available. He had the best Irish side ever for a couple of years and achieved fekk all.

  • CS Parnell

    ss: Ireland’s Rugby team is a precious team. Making cheap remarks in this way depresses me.

    But while we’re at it: ministers are accountable – to the British Parliament. isn’t that what unionists are supposed to believe in? 🙂 Of course, being Irish (even if don’t admit it) they want to have their soda and eat it.

  • Humphreys has been forced to be a substitute player for the truly awful O’Gara. O’Gara was only in the team as a a member of the well known “Munster Mafia”

    seabhac siulach talks about it being a change to see “an ulster protestant willing to take the lead in something”.

    Shame to see the raw and naked bigotry of some people expressed so openly.

  • Alan

    O’Geara is an exceptionally good footballer, but I get the impression from watching him that he never wants to take the hard hit, never wants to hit hard and will kick rather than do either.

  • Henry94


    He had the best Irish side ever for a couple of years and achieved fekk all.

    In the context of Irish rugby a Triple Crown is an achievement. O’Gara had his place on merit but his recent form has not been good so it was right to give David Humphries a run. It’s up to him now to prove his worth and I hope he does.

  • smcgiff

    O’Sullivan was correct to give O’Gara the job ahead of the aging Humphreys. However, that’s not to say the country didn’t breath a collective sigh of relief when Humphreys was brought on as sub of late.

    The problem is that playing Humphreys is short sighted and goes to show how important the upcoming game has become (Sad I know!). After the pitiful performances against NZ and Oz it now falls on the beating of that powerhouse of rugby, also known as Romania, to lift the lads for the 6 nations.

    The chances of a convincing beating of Romania has improved with the selection of Humphreys. This doesn’t necessarily make it a correct decision.

    O’Gara is a bit of an anomaly. Can be great, but just seems to have hit a crisis of confidence. I can’t help thinking that the extra time he’d be afforded against a team like Romania is the kind of boost to his confidence he might need.

    However, now that Humphreys is playing against Romania he should (assuming he plays to his normal standards) be first choice for the six nations. O’Sullivan should then thank his Captain and wish him the best in his retirement. Probably the best for Ulster and Ireland rugby.