Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Northern Ireland rugby team is really a non-starter

Letters to the editor should be sent to: 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. E-mail: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Although Eddie O'Sullivan's selection decisions were abysmal during Ireland's showing in the Rugby World Cup, William McCullough's opinion that Northern Ireland should field its own rugby team is a non-starter (Write Back, October 3).

The present 32-county Irish team struggles to compete with the New Zealand, Australian, South Africa, England and Argentina teams.

A Northern Ireland rugby team would be played off the park by the aforementioned sides.

I, like many other Irish rugby fans, knew Ireland had a near impossible task in defeating Argentina by the required number of points and denying them a bonus point.

In some ways I was pleased they did not advance to the quarter finals, where they would have faced the All Blacks and most likely it would have led to a cricket score in New Zealand's favour.

As for O'Sullivan's selection decisions, I, like other Irish rugby supporters, am calling for his resignation.

But I do support the coach in not selecting more Ulster players.

The plain fact is, with the exception of a hooker, backrow and centre/wing three-quarter, there are none good enough to be in the starting team.

I also note that many players the coach selected for the four pool games drastically under performed.

Randal MacDonnell, Whitehead

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