Andy Farrell will have to shuffle a full deck this summer to find his future aces

For aspiring professional rugby players, the summer tour is often the best chance to win that coveted first cap from being an uncapped novice and be part of the furniture for future November series and the Six Nations Championship.

It looks like oaches have more freedom to experiment with at this time of year. Often some established stars are rested, especially after the Lions tour, or some players sit in it to do little repair work, which has plagued them throughout the season.

With Ireland playing their first group match at the Rugby World Cup in Bordeaux in 15 months and considering the quality of the opposition that we will face in the coming weeks over five matches, Andy Farrell hasn’t rested any frontline players. decided to give.

But the fact that he is bringing 40 players to New Zealand gives us an insight into his thoughts on what he thinks ahead of that World Cup in France is which players could go ahead.

It’s been a while since the Irish squad has been together for a camp, with some of them winning silverware that season (the URC Shield doesn’t count) but the URC semi-final loss to Ulster and Leinster would be a double-edged sword. . This has given Irish coaches access to an extra week of preparation before all their players take off from Dublin airport today and tomorrow, but there is little doubt about our ability to beat the power game of South African or French teams. Will happen. National and club level.

Farrell has been quick to point out that the Irish team has its own way of playing so he is not worried, but in my opinion it is always better if the players are learning how, and more importantly That faces different challenges weekly. Ireland’s green jersey.

This may come as a surprise to many but the All Blacks are not one of the most powerful teams in world rugby and, while they present a formidable challenge even if Ireland defeats them, it is a testament to our ability to beat those teams. Look to physically strangle us who will do nothing to dispel doubts about.

France and South Africa have a blueprint that Ireland needs to prove we can handle or we can look at pulling out of another World Cup. If Eddie Jones can settle on his best team selection and find a better balance in his game, then England also have the ability to physically dominate us, which they have and way too much of the Premiership. All teams play. New Zealand beat you with speed, skill and a high level of game intelligence.

While Ireland benefited from an extra week of simultaneous preparation, the All Blacks coach will be watching the Super Rugby final between the Crusaders and the Blues tomorrow morning with anticipation. Overall, 21 of their 36-man squad were in action and their players look great if the quality of the game is anything to go by.

Still, head coach Ian Foster is under pressure to go into this series. “This will be the biggest home series for the All Blacks since the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour,” he said last week. Is he trying to sell tickets? Has Ireland now become one of the biggest draws in world rugby? Is Foster trying to manage the message to his mentors?

Ireland and France’s defeat at the Tour of November last year did nothing to assuage doubts among the Kiwi public as to whether he should have been appointed in the first place. He was part of the coaching team for the Japan World Cup, where the All Blacks were knocked out by England in the semi-final stage.

The New Zealand rugby union job went through a formal and fairly public application and interview process, and the three-man shortlist included Foster, Jamie Joseph and Scott Robertson. Josef won the Super Rugby title with the Highlanders and did wonders with Japan. Robertson enjoys great support among the public and pro players in New Zealand and has been building a dynasty with the Crusaders who dominate Super Rugby.

Failing to win the World Cup would have been a temptation to start again with a new canvas and bring in either Joseph or Robertson, but stuck with Foster, NZRU would have expected better results and performances and acted accordingly. would have done. In December he added Joe Schmidt to the management team as a selector, replacing veteran out-half Grant Fox. Fox’s role was envisioned as an ambassadorial role, but there’s no doubt that Schmidt isn’t up for free lunches.

He is coaching back at the Blues and I am sure he will give the All Blacks coaches and players his insight into how to beat Ireland and where there are individual strengths and weaknesses. Ironically, if the All Blacks were to do poorly in this series, NZRU could immediately change the coaching team to give them time to prepare for the World Cup, and that change could easily see Schmidt become head coach. . ,

Along with his squad selection, Farrell has illustrated some obvious gaps in our depth chart. It’s important at Loosehead Props that we get Sean Healy to the World Cup in one piece and at the same time go back to our best. Dave Kilcoyne is injured, but behind him Pharrell is backing Jeremy Loffman to be the best of the rest, even though Munster has just put Josh Witcherley ahead of him.

Harry Byrne may have played far less for Leinster this season than his brother Ross, that he looks to be a player Farrell thinks could be Sexton’s successor.

This tour could prove to be a major turning point in Ciaran Frawley’s career. He is what the French call the ‘Swiss Army Knife’, in that he can solve a lot of problems in terms of his versatility, but depending on how well Harry Byrne goes, he can use the back of Sexton. -Track as fast as can be.

Alternatively, if Farrell and Mike Catt feel that having a second playmaker in midfield is a tactical development that needs our attention, he may get some game time in the number 12 jersey.