Leinster vs Cardiff Preview

John Smit's savoir faire ruffled for the first and only time in his career

On what promises to be a fairly grisly evening weather-wise, much has been made of the fact that the Cardiff Blues team visiting the RDS tonight is denuded of eight Welsh internationals. Wales, you see, are playing the Australians in a coffer-filling exercise tomorrow. Fortunately for them, the base avarice of the WRU has been allowed skulk through the mists of sentimentality that have followed Shane Williams’ announcement of his retirement from international rugby. This match isn’t actually a testimonial to the former IRB International Player of the Year, as much as he deserves one, and as much as it is being portrayed as such by the Welsh media. No, this is just the WRU in full money-grabbing mode, flogging its players in a bid to capitalise on their reasonably successful RWC11 efforts. Continue reading

Munster, Leinster And Their Experimental Teams

And then you chop-block the defensive end, Moose

Munster and Leinster have named ‘experimental’ teams for their upcoming fixtures in the Pro 12. Joe Schmidt has gone for a 5-5-5 formation, picking two scrum-halves and three out halves in midfield to try and control possession in a move that owes much to the influence of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. Tony McGahan has named only 11 players in his starting line-up, and will spring the remaining four one-by-one at five minute intervals from the fifteenth minute onwards. Continue reading

Match Preview: Ospreys v Leinster

Leinster have a plethora of internationals in New Zealand. A combination of RWC and a summer clear-out has changed the face of the Ospreys. It is difficult to know exactly what to expect from these teams in the opening game of the RaboPro12. Continue reading