Is big Dan ready to step up? The men from the FRU say YES!

Is big Dan ready to step up? The men from the FRU say YES!

The Ireland Squad for the Autumn Internationals was announced during the week to little fanfare!

The Leinster rich side was much as expected from the new coach who is sticking to who he knows for the matches against New Zealand, Australia and Samoa but I’d much rather have seen a few of the “bubbling unders” given an opportunity in what are fairly meaningless matches.

One of the more interesting questions, however, is who will partner Paul O’Connell in the second row now that Donncha O’Callaghan has been gently eased out of the international scene?

We at the Front Row Union are very discerning about who we chose to let insert their forearm between our legs and who gets to put their head either side of our milky thighs so it may come a no surprise that we have our own stringent selection policy for this honour.

The FRU Patented BIFFBASHBOFFOMETER is used in informal Front Row selection meetings across the province and I’m pleased to say there are few if any in Europe scoring higher than Big Dan this season.

We have scientifically compared Dan to the other incumbents in the Ireland Panel, namely Toner and McCarthy, and we are pleased to see that the rugged Ulster man comes out on top with an extraordinary 50 points out of 60. In fact I don’t think I’ve scored anyone as highly since Willie Anderson had the honour back in the early 80’s!



Yep, forget the salmon leaping in line-outs and the modern fads of ball carrying and wing hanging that are expected of the second rows,  what we in the Front Row want to see of our boys is Biff, Bash and Bosh and plenty off it. Someone who is going to finish the fights that we start, someone who is going to get stuck into the rucks and the mauls while we have a breather are just as important as comfortable shoulders and Big Dan scores highest on all counts.

Will Joe Schmidt make the right choice? His FRU credentials are dependant on it!


Backs: Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)

Forwards: Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), James Coughlan (Dolphin/Munster), Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster), Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Leinster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Mike Sherry (Garryowen/Munster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ballymena/Ulster)