Ireland have been my dark horses (as well as my office sweepstake team) for quite some time. They showed what they can do when they snatched the grand slam away from England earlier this year. They’ve been rugby innovators in 2011 inventing the ‘choke’ tackle.
With Brian O’Driscoll at the helm of their attack and Paul O’Connell in their forward back, enabled by a very healthy looking back row, I pick them to go all the way through to the final. (And no matter who writes off Ronan O’Gara, who would you rather have kicking for corner in a crunch match?)
Ferdy’s pick: finalists.
I think I nailed my Ireland colours to a the mast a while back too. For sure they have struggled to deliver, this Golden Generation, but they have been building well. I always thought they saw the Wallabies as beatable, and that win has given them real momentum. Do they have the depth if someone gets injured, especially in that pack? The team that takes the field are stunning, that back row would give us a run for their money. I think they get to the final as well, but stay the feck away from my Guinness!