The flamboyant Irish Rugby Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has rocked the sporting world with his high risk selection for the opening match of the 2008 RBS Six Nations. In a cull of Ireland’s under-performing “World Cup Failures” O’Sullivan has decided to look to the future with a grand total of one unforced change to the side which started the Six Nations one year ago against the Welsh.

Is this a step too far? Retirement has already forced O’Sullivan to replace Hickie with “new boy” Murphy and injury to O’Connell has given youngster O’Kelly a chance to shine in the second row. Such swathing cuts will certainly give the rest of “The Untouchables” something to think about. Surely now, no one’s place is safe!

Those sweeping changes in full: –

Wales v Ireland, 4th February 2007.
1 Marcus Horan, 2 Rory Best, 3 John Hayes, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 5 Paul O’Connell, 6 Simon Easterby, 7 David Wallace, 8 Dennis Leamy, 9 Peter Stringer, 10 Ronan O’Gara, 11 Denis Hickie, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 13 Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 14 Andrew Trimble, 15 Girvan Dempsey.

Ireland v Italy, 2nd February 2008.
1 Marcus Horan, 2 Rory Best, 3 John Hayes, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 5 Malcolm O’Kelly, 6 Simon Easterby, 7 David Wallace, 8 Dennis Leamy, 9 Eoin Reddan, 10 Ronan O’Gara, 11 Geordan Murphy, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 13 Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 14 Andrew Trimble, 15 Girvan Dempsey.

#SUFTUM