Rugby guru urges Ireland to adopt new tactic this autumn
By Rugby Onslaught

Rugby guru urges Ireland to adopt new tactic this autumn

Ireland get their autumn internationals underway on November 6 when they face Japan, before playing the All Blacks and Argentina.

Their first opponents, Japan, are a bit of an enigma as they have played so little rugby since they hosted the World Cup in 2019, beating Ireland in the pool stages. Fortunately for Andy Farrell and his coaching staff, they were given a glimpse of what to expect from their opponents from their match with Australia at the weekend. In fact, one of Japan’s three matches since the World Cup was against Ireland, in July this year in Dublin, where the hosts came out on top 39-31.

After analysing Japan’s 32-23 loss to the Wallabies on Saturday, rugby guru Brett Igoe has suggested Farrell selects a ball playing centre to expose Japan’s narrow defence. This would require a change from what Ireland have become accustomed to under Farrell, as a stronger ball carrier has usually been deployed in the No12 shirt, be it Bundee Aki or Stuart McCloskey against Japan earlier this year. Who starts in the No12 shirt if Farrell does adopt two ball players is not very clear though, as it would require a big positional switch from one of the fly-halves in the squad.

This is what Igoe wrote:

Ireland 38-man squad

Backs (18)
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 31 caps
Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 1 cap
Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap
Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 24 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 25 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 93 caps
Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/UCD)*
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 10 caps
James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 13 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 6 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 5 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 89 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 99 caps CAPTAIN
Simon Zebo (Munster/Cork Constitution) 35 caps

Forwards (20)
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 5 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 16 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 22 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 20 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 19 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 9 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 49 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 109 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 63 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 22 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 76 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 1 cap
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne)*
Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps

*denotes uncapped player