Niall Crozier: Trimble on bench is baffling decision
Andrew Trimble’s omission from the Ireland side to play Australia on Saturday at Eden Park beggars belief.
With the Irish backs’ showing in their World Cup Pool C opener against the United States having been abject, Trimble — the solitary stand-out player in August’s four Tests, all of which ended in defeat — should be starting.
Yet for whatever reason, Keith Earls is preferred and Trimble is on the bench once again.
Ireland named their line-up ahead of any announcement by the Wallabies.
In that Kidney does not know who will start for Australia, this selection makes no sense. What is the basis for it? And looking at it, what is the Irish game-plan to beat these Australians? Do they even have one?
The golden rule when selecting a team is to include in-form players. By that yardstick Trimble’s exclusion is totally nonsensical, for he is the one Irish back who shone in last month’s warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup.
Current form? Ireland’s backs to face the brilliance of Australia includes halves Eoin Reddan and Jonathan Sexton, neither of whom is on-song.
Ditto their Leinster colleagues Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll, who form the centre partnership.
Right wing Tommy Bowe has two matches under his belt following a three-month lay-off, while a serious knee injury sidelined full-back Rob Kearney from November until the start of August when, 47 minutes into his second match in nine months, he was hurt again.
The one back whose form and fitness have been excellent is the one left out.
Please explain, because I can’t.