Rugby: Paddy Wallace's place in the Irish Six Nations squad to face France is Puzzling


The return of Jamie Heaslip to the Ireland starting lineup has come as a great boost for Declan Kidney's side but it is a player that has not returned that is sure to cause the most contention.

Both Paddy Wallace and Ronan O'Gara have been named on the bench for Ireland's Six Nations matchup with France this weekend which means the now healthy Andrew Trimble misses out.

Wallace has predominantly been a center throughout his career but has been used in the past by Declan Kidney as a Fly half and on occasion emergency full back. His versatility always makes him a valuable player to the Irish team but he is not an overly impressive performer on the pitch.

Wallace is reliable and solid but does not realistically have enough explosion to impact the game drastically from the bench. Something that Andrew Trimble does afford you.

The reasons for Wallace's inclusion are made moot by the presence of Ronan O'Gara and Thomas O'Leary. Should Sexton get injured O'Gara will be the obvious replacement. Should either center get injured O'Gara will once again be the man to fill in allowing Sexton to move to the center. If Ireland are in the need of a fullback Eoin Reddan will be brought on due to Thomas O'Leary's versatility. O'Leary will move to the wing which will allow Earls to play as fullback.

Wallace, for reasons that do not reflect on him, has been made redundant in the squad and since this rugby fixture is often a close encounter, Trimble's speed and physical running could have made the difference from the bench if only for a brief appearance.

Ireland are lacking impact players among their seven substitutes, hopefully it won't come back to haunt Declan Kidney this Sunday.

Ireland Team in full;
15 - Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
14 - Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13 - Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 - Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
9 - Tomas O'Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 - Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
6 - Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
7 - David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
8 - Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)


16 - Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
17 - Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 - Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
19 - Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
20 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 - Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

Ireland host France at 3 o'clock GMT, Sunday 13th.


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