The luck of the Irish appears to have taken on a new meaning in recent times. Back in May last year, Leinster found themselves on the end of their second Championship Cup final defeat in a row to La Rochelle; in October the national side found themselves out at the quarter-final stage of a World Cup that many expected them to win; Munster have recently collected a team full of injuries, putting their URC season in jeopardy, and now the national side are struggling to find fit wingers to take part in the upcoming Six Nations.
It was announced earlier today that Mack Hansen was “expected to be unavailable for three to four months” with a dislocated shoulder – putting Ireland’s back three in slight disarray. Now it’s the turn of Leinster winger Jimmy O’Brien to really panic the selectors after announcing that he will be out for a “number of months” with a neck injury.
Ireland aren’t short of talent in the wide areas, with the likes of Robert Baloucoune, Jacob Stockdale and even Simon Zebo all waiting for their opportunities again this Six Nations. The talents of Hansen and O’Brien, alongside the likes of Hugo Keenan and James Lowe, have all helped Ireland become the world-class threat they now are. So whoever lines up to replace these wingers will need to grab the opportunity with both hands, because currently it’s very hard to look beyond the current set up when all are fit.