Irelands Fergus McFadden will miss their tour of Australasia after he broke his jaw against the Barbarians following this huge tackle by Seru Rabeni. The Ireland squad was announced today, with McFadden just one of the many injured players.
The match against the Barbarians, which Ireland lost 29-23, took its toll as Irelands depleted squad took another knock in a game that was more physical than free flowing.
Powerfully built Fijian centre Rabeni set the tone early on as he smashed McFadden in a head-on tackle which rocked the Irishman backwards and fractured his jaw.
He played on but will be sidelined for up to eight weeks, which rules him out for selection to travel to New Zealand and Australia, along with Paul OConnell, Keith Earls, Stephen Ferris, Rory Best, Kevin McLaughlin, Luke Fitzgerald, and Denis Leamy. Jerry Flannery and Shane Horgan are also out, but might join the tour later.
So far its not looking good for the Irish, who have not beaten the All Blacks in 22 attempts, with New Zealand winning 21 and them drawing once. Captain Brian ODriscoll puts that down to the rugby culture in New Zealand, with it being the national sport.
“We’ve got three or four sports before rugby in our country so it’s difficult when you don’t have the same numbers playing as they do here. We play a number of different sports – Gaelic football, soccer and hurling,” ODriscoll said at a press conference.
“And then you lose a number of players to those codes and then with the 120 odd professionals in our country it’s not quite the same numbers to choose from.”
New Zealand have 150 full time professional playing in the Super 14, which isnt all that different, but if you look at the senior players in each country, Ireland has 11 500 while New Zealand has over 28 000. ODriscoll did end with an important point though.
“At the same time, it is 15 against 15 in the weekend, so you have to treat it as much.”
This clip was requested by a few who wanted to watch it again. Fiji probably could have done with an imposing figure such as Rabeni when they played Australia on the weekend.
Ireland Team to play New Zealand:
15-Robert Kearney, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 12-Gordon D’Arcy, 11-Andrew Trimble, 10-Ronan O’Gara, 9-Tomas O’Leary; 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-David Wallace, 6-John Muldoon, 5-Mick O’Driscoll, 4-Donncha O’Callaghan, 3-John Hayes, 2-Sean Cronin, 1-Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16-John Fogarty, 17-Tony Buckley, 18-Dan Tuohy, 19-Shane Jennings, 20-Eoin Reddan, 21-Jonathan Sexton, 22-Geordan Murphy.