Andy Farrell insisted continuity in Ireland team selection would not come at the expense of creativity as he kept changes to a minimum for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations second-round visit of Wales to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
The curtain came down on the Munster club championships with Russell Rovers taking the last piece of silverware in front of 1,610 enthusiastic spectators at the Fraher Field and adding another chapter in a fairytale season for hurling in East Cork.
Joe Schmidt has called on Ross Byrne to make the most of his opportunity and stake a claim to a place in Ireland’s World Cup squad after handing the fly-half his first Test start against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
The pressure may be on for Ireland’s World Cup hopefuls to press their claims for a seat on the plane to Japan next month but Andy Farrell has insisted the national team management will not ease the agony for their players until the very last minute.
It won’t prompt an update from the AA Roadwatch team but the steady traffic of players switching provinces will continue this summer on the back of IRFU performance director David Nucifora’s vision to maximise the playing pool.
Leo Cullen vented his anger last week at what he perceived as suggestions in some media outlets that Jonathan Sexton had been ‘dropped’ for the semi-final win over Munster. He need not have bothered as Sexton’s selection for today’s decider was always going to refute such spin.