Ireland RWC 2015 Report Card: Part 4, Half Backs

Ireland brought only two scrum halves to this tournament and a third choice outhalf who played very little even in the event of the incumbent getting injured. The national inability to produce international quality scrum halves with any sort of consistency is a mystery to me. Of the twenty scrum halves selected for the last seven Lions tours, only two were Irish and Tomas O’Leary got injured before he could travel.

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France v Japan Preview

Japan has a vibrant domestic league and was the main contender to New Zealand to host RWC 11. The decision to give the cup to the smaller country was made six years ago and the Mole thinks it was an opportunity missed. Japan is 10th most populous country in the world, with a staggering 127m people and 3rd largest economy in the world. Japan will host the 2019 tournament, by which time rugby, or the Sevens variation, will be an Olympic sport. Instead of introducing another Australian franchise to the Super 15, Mole believes that Tokyo should have got one team and Hong Kong another to make a sixteen team tournament. Teams could have been populated by a mix of Islanders, Argentinians, other imports and local talent. This would give the game massive exposure in two huge economies and introduce more crowds, sponsorship and interest. Continue reading