2018 Six Nations

My XV to face France in the 6 Nations

Here is the XV I would select to take on France in the Stade De France on the opening weekend of this year’s 6 Nations. It is an interesting squad that Joe Schmidt has assembled with Sean Cronin being recalled along with Fergus Mc Fadden.

The squad has been chosen to play in the opening two rounds with other players who are currently unavailable due to injury will be considered later in the campaign. As expected Simon Zebo misses out due to his move to France from next season.

Fergus Mc Fadden has benefitted from the injury suffered by Adam Byrne with his recall. Players like Craig Gilroy can count themselves unlucky not to get the call up with injury ruling him out of contention.

Connacht man Matt Healy is extremely unlucky not to get the call up for the opening two rounds but Matt Healy could still play his way into the plans of Joe Schmidt.  

Jordan Larmour has earned his first senior call up after progressing through the Irish set up and his performances have been really impressive this year with Leinster and in turn Joe Schmidt has seen fit to give him a call up and now it is time for Jordan to make the most of the opportunity that has presented itself to him.

It is time for Ireland to get back to the good times of the winning Championships after the won the 2014 and 2015 Championships.

England have dominated the last two campaigns only being defeated on one occasion last season in the final game of the Championship where England were going for the Grand Slam and also trying to continue an unbeaten run but Ireland halted that run with a terrific win and since that time England have continued winning games under Eddie Jones as they continue their quest to win the 2019 World Cup.

The XV I would select to face France is :

15 Jordan Larmour

14 Keith Earls

13 Robbie Henshaw

12 Rory Scannell

11 Jacob Stockdale

10 Jonathan Sexton

9 Conor Murray

8 Jack Conan

7 Josh Van Der Flier

6 Peter O Mahony

5 James Ryan

4 Iain Henderson

3 Tadgh Furlong

2 Rory Best

1 Dave Kilcoyne

16 Sean Cronin

17 Jack Mc Grath

18 John Ryan

19 Ultan Dillane

20 CJ Stander

21 Luke Mc Grath

22 Joey Carbery

23 Andrew Conway


Cian Mc Gibney


Swanky 2017 Pool Final

Swanky – 2017 Pool Final – Paddy Moriarty Vs Neilus Flynn

So as 2018 begins and the memories of Christmas and New Year 2017 begin to fade as the majority of people begin to normal life. I wanted to put together a few words or the Pool Final that took place last Saturday night where Paddy Moriarty took on Neilus Flynn for the right to be called the 2017 Swanky Pool Champion and also take home a share of the €1000 prize money that was on offer.

Cillian Langan took on Brendan Cregan for 3rd place with both men putting in a good display of tactical Pool play where Cillian took a 1-0 lead before Brendan found a way back to level it up a 1 frame each before Cillian went on to take the game of 3 frames 2-1.

It was then on to the main event where two veterans of this now long running Tournament took centre stage. After an extremely cagey opening where both men tried to go pot for pot, it was Neilus Flynn who stole into a 2-0 lead.

Neilus is a man who plays an extremely meticulous game some may even say it is it is frustrating to watch and having spoken to a few people that have played Neilus previously in past Tournaments and all told me that he is an extremely hard opponent  to play and to figure out.

He plays every shot over in his mind several times before he takes a shot and this can unnerve even the strongest opponent. The man he faced on Saturday night is Paddy Moriarty, a man of many talents. He looks after one of the local GAA underage teams and is loved by his players, the players parents and his family and many friends.

It was fair to say he had huge support on Saturday evening and this support was crucial in helping Paddy taking the crucial third frame where had Neilus won that 3rd frame , it would have been very difficult for Paddy to make a meaningful comeback but roared on by a vocal crowd Paddy found a way back and came roaring back into to the game to then go from 2-1 down to 3-2 up and although Neilus won another frame Paddy took over and kept his cool to win the game 5-3.

There was a great crowd at this game and all over Christmas and the New Year Tarbert has been a hive of activity. Culminating in the usual high jinks on New Year’s Eve that yet again drew a large crowd to the Square in Tarbert. The beating out of the Old Year and welcoming of the New Year took place topped off by the return of a small firework display after it was suspended for 2016.

From this author all the very best to you and yours in 2018 and beyond….


Cian Mc Gibney