With Joe Schmidt set to announce his Ireland squad for the 2015 Six Nations in the next week, we select our Irish team who we’re tipping for the title…
If Healy can get back to full fitness throughout the Six Nations there’s no doubting that he will be a key player for Ireland with his ball carrying and scrummaging.
McGrath has proven during Healy’s injury that he is a more than capable deputy and will be pushing him hard for a starting spot this year.
Kilcoyne may be a little bit behind McGrath and Healy in the pecking order, however should injuries occur then there’s no doubting he is more than capable of stepping up.
Best is currently the stand-out hooker in Ireland right now, and possibly the best in Europe. He will be a key player for Ireland as they look to retain their Six Nations crown.
Cronin will be pushing Best hard for his starting shirt but may have to spend most of the tournament on the bench.
Strauss has battled back well from health issues and now looks ready to step into the Irish XV should he be needed.
Ross is one of the stand-out tightheads in the Northern Hemisphere right now and will rightly be a key player for Ireland
At just 23 Moore looks to be a real prospect for Ireland and will likely be given another chance off the bench for Ireland during the Six Nations.
9.Rodney Ah You
Rodney Ah You is another player likely to be a squad member rather than starter, however his ball carrying could see him given a chance at some stage.
Toner looks likely to be O’Connell’s partner in the second row where they can form an experienced pairing to dominate in the engine room.
O’Connell is currently one of the first names on the team sheet for Ireland as he seems to be getting better with age.
Tuhoy may not have had as many caps as he perhaps deserved, however he’s performing well at the moment and will provide decent competition in the second row.
Foley looked particularly impressive for Ireland during their game against Georgia last year and will be hoping for more opportunities.
O’Mahony has been an absolute stand-out for Ireland since last years Six Nations and will be starting on the blindside.
Heaslip is another guaranteed starter for Ireland at the moment and is their stand out number 8 right now.
Schmidt will be hoping O’Brien can get fit enough to play at least some part in the Six Nations as there’s no doubt he would have an impact.
Ruddock provides good cover across the back row for Ireland and therefore edges in thanks to his versatility.
Murphy has launched up the pecking order somewhat thanks to a spate of injuries to Ireland’s opensides over the last few months.
Murray has been a stand-out for Ireland over the last 18 months and will form a key partnership with Sexton at half back.
Reddan is probably unlikely to start at this stage, however he will provide impact off the bench for Ireland and push Murray hard.
Marmion is one of Ireland’s brightest prospects right now and will be hoping to be given more opportunities during the Six Nations.
If fit, there’s no doubt that Sexton will be starting in the number 10 shirt for Ireland as he is one of the very best in the world right now.
It was a close call between Jackson and Ian Keatley, however Jackson’s all-round game play sees him edge in just ahead.
Madigan can cover centre and fly half for Ireland so makes a great squad member and is quite possibly worthy of chance to start again.
D’Arcy is one of Ireland’s most experienced players in the back line and could well be a key man in the centres during the Six Nations.
Henshaw is likely to start in the centres for Ireland once again, however the question will be whether that is at 12 or 13.
Payne is another handy player for Ireland given he can play at 13 or 15 freeing up space for other players throughout the team.
Bowe still remains one of the best finishers in the Northern Hemisphere and will be a key man for Ireland during the Six Nations.
Trimble is another player who offers versatility for Ireland, although he’s likely to be used as a winger rather than centre during the Six Nations.
Leinster winger Fitzgerald may not necessarily start for Ireland at the beginning of the Six Nations but will be pushing for a start.
Zebo has some work to do in order to break into the Irish starting XV when everyone is fit but certainly has the potential.
Kearney is one of the best full backs in European rugby right now and will start for Ireland unless he picks up an injury.
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