2011 November 4
Ireland rugby team set for raft of changesIreland rugby team set for raft of changes
The Ireland team looks set to change significantly over the coming years as they build a challenge for the next Rugby World Cup, reports Planet Rugby.
Having been dumped out of this year's event by Wales, the sports website claimed it should be an "interesting" four years for the Emerald Isle, since it is likely that a lot of new faces will emerge.
It picked out Sean O'Brien, Connor Murray and Keith Earls as stars that can hope to keep their places in the starting line-up, but fans watching the evolution of the team from the stands in rugby jumpers can expect to see their old guard gradually replaced.
The country had the oldest squad at the World Cup and there is a suggestion that the team may need new attacking tactics if it is going to succeed in future.
"It has been written of Irish rugby that it is in an almost permanent state of phantom pregnancy, a continued state of excitement at what is to come, followed by an anti-climactic realisation that all is merely normal again," the online resource observed.
ESPN Scrum summarised the country's performance in New Zealand as brilliant during the pool stage, but "out-thought and out-fought" against Wales.
It suggested the Irish should have beaten the Welsh, but claimed that the country has something of a mental block that is stopping its national side performing to the best of its abilities.