The curious case of Ireland's 'Cap 0'

Niall Scannell may make his debut off the bench against Italy

The curious case of Ireland's 'Cap 0'

Niall Scannell Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Last weekend, Niall Scannell took his place on the bench for Ireland for the first time.

In a surprise to many, the Munster hooker failed to make his debut, as Rory Best played the 80 minutes in Murrayfield. Scannell is expected to take to the field in Rome against Italy.

The Munster hooker is expected to make his debut as Rory Best missed Friday's captain's run due to illness. Whether Scannell starts or not remains to be seen.

At the end of the day, Scannell will own more Ireland jerseys than caps. For the second week in a row, his jersey will bare the unusual 'Cap 0'. As the IRFU's Twitter account showed last week before the Scotland game, Scannell's jersey did not say 'Cap 1', but the unusual 'Cap 0'.

While the IRFU stitch the name, fixture and cap number of each player in their jerseys, Scannell has still to make his debut and is thus deemed uncapped. 

If the hooker does play against Italy, and is also named in the matchday 23 for the game against France in a fortnight in Dublin, he will have 'Cap 2' stitched into the jersey.

Whatever happens to Scannell, the unusual quirk should take nothing away from what will be a historic day (second time around) for the hooker.