Off The Ball
Off The Ball

21.08 18 Feb 2015


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Keith Wood says he would love to see Sean O'Brien playing at No 8 against England.

With Jamie Heaslip absent for that game with a back injury sustained in last weekend's win over France, it means head coach Joe Schmidt will have to shuffle the deck in the back-row.

Former Ireland captain Keith was in studio alongside The Irish Times' Gerry Thornley on Off The Ball's Wednesday Night Rugby and looked ahead to the potential changes.

"I'd like to see Sean O'Brien play at 8," said Keith, who also thinks Iain Henderson should be close to a starting role. 

"Iain Henderson is properly knocking on the door."

Keith also feels the style of play against France was the "right way to play to get the result" and that "there's an awful lot more in this team than the style that was played last weekend". 

Gerry praised Robbie Henshaw's progress at centre, and feels the midfield pairing with Jared Payne needs time.

He and Keith also ran the rule over a very potent England team and the main threats Ireland will face from Stuart Lancaster's side.

The lads also debated changes to the laws of the game, to swing the momentum back towards attacking rugby, with Keith suggesting a change to the number of substitutes.

"I just wonder whether, if you limit it - I think you need cover for the front row, a utility forward and a utility back - you may end up with smaller players," he said.  


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