Exeter Fly-Half Believes IRFU Should Reverse Overseas Selection Policy - Balls.ie
Ireland fans watching Saturday's Champions Cup final couldn't but have helped experienced a tinge of regret. Irishman Simon Zebo put on a finishing clinic in the game,...
Ireland fans watching Saturday's Champions Cup final couldn't but have helped experienced a tinge of regret. Irishman Simon Zebo put on a finishing clinic in the game, running in two tries for Racing 92. It was the type of finishing ability Ireland certainly could have used in the last couple of years. Of course, Zebo has not been considered for selection after his move to France in 2018. The IRFU's policy to not select players who are based overseas is somewhat understandable. They want to keep the best Irish players in this country, and often unable to match the money on offer abroad, the prospect of playing for their national team is often enough to keep those players around. There have been exceptions to the rule, with Johnny Sexton's move to Racing the most recent example. Many feel the policy should be halted entirely, with there being a sense that the IRFU are cutting off their nose to spite their face in some instances. While Zebo and teammate Donnacha Ryan came out on the losing side in Saturday's game, there were a couple of Irishman on the winning side. Ian Whitten started for Exeter, while Dungannon native Gareth Steenson was an unused substitute. The 36-year old has been a player at the club since 2008, spending his entire senior playing career in England. As a result, he has never won an Ireland cap. He is will retire at the end of the season as the club's all-time record points scorer, and Steenson told the BBC that he feels the IRFU's current selection policy should be reviewed. I think it's a shame. There are only four provinces that you can select from, so why take away the opportunity if some of your best players are away playing top-level rugby in a different competition? They will be are learning from other players and other leagues. I understand that it is an easier way to look after players, being at home, but for me I never had an opportunity to play for any of the provinces. I was always at a disadvantage as I was never going to get selected for Ireland, that was just the way it fell for me. Hopefully, one day, the IRFU might look across the water, but I can say that now I'm finishing. You can certainly see both sides to the argument. However, there is little indication that the IRFU will reconsider this policy as things stand.
Shane Duffy Full Of Praise For Emergency Centre Back Matt Doherty - Balls.ie
It was hardly an ideal buildup for Ireland heading into today's Nations League clash with Wales. Not only did the story around Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah's absence i...
It was hardly an ideal buildup for Ireland heading into today's Nations League clash with Wales. Not only did the story around Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah's absence in Slovakia continue to develop, but is soon emerged that Ireland had another Covid-19 case in the camp. A member of the squad tested positive, with four other players ruled out as a result. That left Ireland with only 18 players for the Wales games, three of whom were goalkeepers. Things got even worse midway through the first half when Kevin Long was forced off due to injury. With no other natural centre back in the squad, Stephen Kenny was forced to use Matt Doherty in the role. It's fair to say things went fairly well for him. He put in an excellent performance in an unfamiliar position, earning man-of-the-match honours from Sky Sports in the process. Speaking after the game, Doherty said that playing in the role gave him a bigger appreciation for what centre backs do in the team and that he might not shout at much at his teammates in that position in the future. Shane Duffy was the man playing alongside the Spurs player in the heart of the defence and he came away very impressed with what he saw from his partner. Speaking to members of the media after the game, he said that Doherty adapted brilliantly to the new position and claimed that he was the one that did most of the shouting on this occasion. I thought he was brilliant. He was great, he did everything that he had to do. He knows the defensive side of the game and he's getting better every game as well. He fit in great... My voice is gone shouting at him! Listen, it's a completely different role to what he's played before. It's different, but it's good for us that we know we can play him there. Hopefully we don't need him there because we would rather have him at right back. He did a job for us, kept a clean sheet, and I thought he was great. So fair play to him. Despite Doherty's strong performance, Stephen Kenny will probably be hoping that he doesn't have to use him in this role for Wednesday's game in Finland. The severity of Kevin Long's injury is unclear, but there have been suggestions that Dara O'Shea is about to be called up from the U21 squad for the fixture.
Ireland Coach Condemns Abuse Directed At Midfielder Alan Browne - Balls.ie
Emotions were high after last night's penalty shootout to Slovakia. While the result was obviously disappointing for Ireland, the performance offers plenty of encourag...
Emotions were high after last night's penalty shootout to Slovakia. While the result was obviously disappointing for Ireland, the performance offers plenty of encouragement moving forward. Despite this, some used it as an opportunity to have a pop at both playing and coaching staff. This is perhaps unsurprising, with some sections of the Ireland support often too happy to pile on the criticism after a negative result. Manager Stephen Kenny was the target for much of this undeserved criticism, while midfielder Alan Browne also received quite a bit. The Cork native played very well after coming on as a substitute last night, injecting plenty of urgency and penetration up front into Ireland's performance. He would have a couple of golden opportunities to score the game's opening goal, with the Slovakian goalkeeper doing well to save one while the other rebounded off the post. Unfortunately for Browne, he would also have his penalty saved in the shootout. This made him an easy target online, but one Ireland coach has come out to condemn any criticism. Former Republic of Ireland international Alan Kelly now acts as the team's goalkeeping coach and he took to Twitter to support 'proud Irishman' Browne. The abuse directed at @Alan__Browne after @FAIreland lost on penalties last night is shocking & disgusting. He is a proud Irishman, who accepted the responsibility of taking a penalty under the most intense pressure, that takes guts, that shows character. Goalkeeping Skills (@Keepingskills) October 9, 2020 Appreciate it Kells Have to take the bad with the good Alan Browne (@Alan__Browne) October 9, 2020 Well said. Browne had a big influence on last night's game and on another night could have been the hero. He certainly didn't deserve some of the abuse that had been sent his way. Hopefully he can put this behind him and be an important player for Ireland moving forward.
Robinson Reveals Offensive Messages He Got After First Ireland Call-Up - Balls.ie
Ahead of Thursday night's crunch Euro 2020 play-off in Slovakia, much has been made about the change in playing style that the Republic of Ireland are attempting to im...
Ahead of Thursday night's crunch Euro 2020 play-off in Slovakia, much has been made about the change in playing style that the Republic of Ireland are attempting to implement. There were clear signs that new manager Stephen Kenny was attempting to turn Ireland into a more possession focused side, with mixed results. The team did keep the ball better, but they seemed a little aimless at times. While many used this to criticise the manager (a reaction that was obviously completely ridiculous), it was always clear that it will take time for these changes to have a positive effect. Kenny had only a couple of days to get his message across to the players. That will be the case once again on this occasion, although those two games will no doubt have helped the squad acclimatise to the new demands being placed on them. Speaking to members of the media ahead of Thursday night's game, Callum Robinson said the next couple of days with the manager will be key to the game in Bratislava, while also admitting that he and the team will go into the match with plenty of confidence. The coaching staff and manager are going to have to try and get as much information across to us in the short period of time, but it's obviously it's hard. It was good to be away with him last month so we sort of know the basics of how he wants to approach games. The next few days are going to be key with what we want to end up doing on Thursday night... Personally I never fear anyone really. I think we're like that as a group. We've got a lot of quality. It was disappointing to lose against Finland, but you could see little things in the game where we're trying to get to where we want to get where the manager wants. Obviously it was harder last month because we weren't as fit as we are now. I'm really positive going into Thursday and I back all the lads. Robinson has been part of the Ireland setup for a couple of years now, playing a key role in the Euro 2020 qualification campaign up until this point. Having never played at underage level for Ireland, his performances for Preston saw him drafted into the squad. An an English-born player, this resulted in criticism from certain sections of Irish 'supporters'. Cyrus Christie has spoken about the abuse he has received whilst playing for Ireland, saying that black English-born players such as himself, Robinson, and David McGoldrick have their 'Irishness' questioned more than others. Robinson admitted that he has not anything on the level that Christie received, but admitted he did receive some abuse on Twitter after he first got called up by Ireland. Not so much, I haven't had a lot. I think when I was at Preston and I first joined the squad I had a few tweets and stuff like that. I haven't had anything face to face or heard anything from the fans in the crowd. With Twitter, as you know, you never get a face on the other side of it. We got the tweets deleted because you want that kicked out and you don't want any of it. We're playing for the country because we've got Irish in us. That doesn't make any sense at all, or we wouldn't be playing for the country. We still put in 100 per cent, it doesn't matter. It's really disappointing if Cyrus has had that. I've had a little bit of it, but obviously not as much as him. I'm not sure about Didzy [McGoldrick]. In general, we are trying to kick that out. The game in Bratislava will be played under strange circumstances, with no fans present in the ground. It will be odd for a game of this importance to be played without the typical feverish support, but such is the way of the world of the moment. Professional footballers are tested on a regular basis for covid-19, while also being part of a highly managed environment. That is made much more difficult in international football, with the high levels of travel that are included potentially making everyone involved more at risk. Despite this, Robinson said he would never turn down an international call-up over such fears. I think everyone is a little bit anxious about catching it, which is understandable. At the end of the day this is our job. Playing for your country, there's no way I'm not catching a flight to Ireland, a flight to Slovakia and back, out to Finland. No chance am I missing that. Obviously you are anxious because it is crazy what's going on in the world right now, but at the end fo the day it's our job and we want to play for our country. It's as simple as that... It would mean a lot to us on Thursday night if we can get a win and put some smiles on people's faces.
Injury Concerns Mounting For Stephen Kenny Ahead Of Slovakia Play-Off - Balls.ie
Ireland's Euro 2020 fate will be sealed if they fail to get a positive result in Slovakia next week, with Stephen Kenny set to face the first true test of his tenure a...
Ireland's Euro 2020 fate will be sealed if they fail to get a positive result in Slovakia next week, with Stephen Kenny set to face the first true test of his tenure as Ireland boss. The preparation for the fixture is hardly going to be ideal. The manager will have very little time to train his players ahead of the game, with the squad flying out to Bratislava on Tuesday. If Kenny didn't have enough headaches, he is now facing into a number of potential injury issues. Centre back Darragh Lenihan was absent from the Blackburn Rovers squad for their 0-0 draw against Cardiff City, with the news soon emerging that a 'minor knee problem' was set to keep him out of international duty. Darragh Lenihan picked up his injury late in training yesterday. Scan has shown a minor knee problem. Wont be going away with Republic of Ireland, but hopefully will make the Nottingham Forest game in two weeks time. Rich Sharpe (@richsharpe89) October 3, 2020 Lenihan was highly likely to earn a first international cap since 2018 during the upcoming fixtures, meaning the Meath man will be hugely disappointed he will miss out. There could also be an issue with captain Seamus Coleman. The Everton man put in yet another excellent performance this afternoon during the win over Brighton, but he was forced off with an apparent hamstring issue midway through the second half. Many were calling for Coleman to be reintroduced to the starting XI after Matt Doherty was given the nod at right back during last month's fixtures, but the decision could now be taken out of Stephen Kenny's hands. There is no word yet on the severity of his injury, but a hamstring issue could leave him sidelined with only a few days to recover.
The Comey Rule Featuring Brendan Gleeson As Donald Trump Starts This Week - Balls.ie
Having excelled in films like The General, In Bruges, The Guard, and Calvary, Brendan Gleeson has established himself as one of the finest actors in the world and we...
Having excelled in films like The General, In Bruges, The Guard, and Calvary, Brendan Gleeson has established himself as one of the finest actors in the world and we're expecting great things from his next role as Donald Trump. Adept at balancing drama and comedy, the Dubliner has proven himself to be incredibly versatile but in his new show, The Comey Rule, the actor will be playing one of the most divisive men in the world, US President Donald Trump. As mentioned previously, the show is an adaptation of former FBI head James Comeys 2018 memoir, and Gleeson's role is the first non-satirical depiction of Trump. The official synopsis states: "Based on Comeys No. 1 New York Times bestselling book A Higher Loyalty and more than a year of additional interviews with a number of key principals, The Comey Rule is an immersive, behind-the-headlines account of the historically turbulent events surrounding the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, which divided a nation. The Comey Rule is not a biopic of one man but is instead the story of two powerful figures, Comey and Trump, whose strikingly different personalities, ethics and loyalties put them on a collision course. Since being released in the US, Gleeson's performance as Trump has garnered praise from the critics; The Detroit News - "Gripes aside, The Comey Rule is a frightening and timely look at recent history and its repercussions. Actors will no doubt be biting into the role of Trump for years to come, but to top Gleeson, they'll have to do a heck of a lot of chewing. CNN - "Trump (Brendan Gleeson), manages to incorporate the president's verbal tics and mannerisms and still create a portrayal that goes beyond parody." Entertainment Weekly: "As Trump, Gleeson arrives in Part 2, appropriately bewigged and be-oranged. He skillfully replicates the president's meandering cadence, his laboured breathing, his pursed lips and jutted jaw. He interprets real-life Comey's interpretation of real-life Trump's intentions with suitable menace." The Hollywood Reporter - " Gleeson plays Trump as a clever and calculating bully of weaker men, blindly obtuse one second and acutely manipulative the next. He's a lumbering, land-bound, poorly dressed manatee of a man, but to be underestimated at your own peril. Gleeson's accent and intonations waver, yet he captures an interiority the real Trump rarely exposes." Take a look at what's in store when Brendan Gleeson plays Donald Trump in The Comey Rule when it starts this Wednesday, 30 September at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.
Millwall Manager: Parrott Should Have Come Off Sooner - Balls.ie
Troy Parrott's loan move to Millwall promised big things but the Ireland striker has been frustrated by injury after joining the club on August 1. Unfortunately Parrot...
Troy Parrott's loan move to Millwall promised big things but the Ireland striker has been frustrated by injury after joining the club on August 1. Unfortunately Parrott suffered another injury in his Millwall debut last night, a Carabao Cup tie against Burnley that Millwall lost 2-0. Parrott had been sidelined for Millwall's first two Championship fixtures due to a quad injury suffered in a preseason match against Birmingham City. He was named to start up front for manager Gary Rowett last night. Unfortunately, according to his manager, he received a kick in the ankle from a defender, which meant he had to be subbed off at halftime. 'Troy got a kick on the ankle early on and he is a young lad, desperate to play and he has been devastated to be injured because he wants to play games, Rowett said. 'You could see he was struggling movement-wise. He probably should have come off or I probably should have taken him off. It doesnt look great, but well see. It's unclear how long Parrott will be sidelined for. The Belvedere product had been named in Stephen Kenny's first Ireland squad, but had to withdraw because of said quad injury. Millwall only have two fixtures scheduled before Ireland's massive Euro 2020 playoff against Slovakia and if Parrott's injury is in any way serious, it's hard to see how he'll build the match fitness to be in Kenny's reckoning. It does appear that Parrott has made a strong impression on his manager in his brief spell at the Den. 'Hes such an honest kid, who is desperate to score goals and do well for us. 'And hes fitted in brilliantly with the group and worked incredibly hard, so it is more frustration from his point of view. 'He is a bright lad and it is disappointing so far weve not really had him available, but hopefully it is not too serious and he will be available soon.'
PlayStation 5 Release Date And Price Revealed With Two Big Options - Balls.ie
Wednesday night brought with it the big moment gamers had been waiting months for, with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) launching the new PlayStation 5 and, in th...
Wednesday night brought with it the big moment gamers had been waiting months for, with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) launching the new PlayStation 5 and, in the process, revealing its European release date and price. The new PS5 will roll out across Europe on 19 November, with two versions available.The PS5 Digital Edition will have no disc drive and a recommended retail price (RRP) of 399.99, while the PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive will carry a RRP of 499.99. See you in November! pic.twitter.com/SMfSxxOJ7l PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) September 16, 2020 The eagerly anticipated console will be initially released in seven other markets on 12 November - namely the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea - before its availability on this side of the Atlantic seven days later. However, the PS5 will be available to pre-order from some retailers as early as today. PlayStation 5 Price With the PS5 Digital Edition coming in at 399.99, it is 100 cheaper than the PS5 and does not include a disc drive. However both consoles will have the same custom processor with integrated CPU and GPU for high-fidelity graphics up to 4K. They both will also have same ultra-high speed SSD and integrated I/O, enabling extremely fast load times. SIE say: "Players will enjoy the same transformative gameplay experiences regardless of which PS5 they choose." In terms of some of the PS5 accessories that will be available at launch, SIE announced:
- DualSense Wireless Controller (standalone) 69.99 (RRP)
- PULSE 3D wireless headset with 3D audio support and dual noise-cancelling microphones 99.99 (RRP)
- HD Camera with dual 1080p lenses 59.99 (RRP)
- Media Remote to navigate movies and streaming services 29.99 (RRP)
- DualSense Charging Station to charge two DualSense Wireless Controllers 29.99 (RRP)
Brian Kerr Perfectly Describes The Key Problem With Shane Duffy's Game - Balls.ie
After completing his year-long loan move to Celtic, this week has been a bit of a whirlwind one for Shane Duffy and like so many of the players in Sofia, he's still lo...
After completing his year-long loan move to Celtic, this week has been a bit of a whirlwind one for Shane Duffy and like so many of the players in Sofia, he's still looking for sharpness and form ahead of the new season. After being badly caught out of position for Bulgaria's opening goal, the defender made amends when he equalised with a wonderful header to give Ireland a share of the spoils in Stephen Kenny's first game in charge. To Duffy's credit, in his post-match interview, he immediately shouldered the blame for Bulgaria's goal. "It was nice to get the goal at the end but overall, a little bit disappointed with the game, the result," Duffy told Sky Sports. "I'll probably take the blame for [the Bulgaria goal]. It was sloppy defending and I didn't get in quick enough and they punished us. I haven't played a lot of football. It was tough out there in moments for me to get going." However, during Virgin Media's analysis, Brian Kerr felt that the new Celtic defender looked nervous when he was in possession of the ball at his feet and struggled to build from the back. "It was a very surreal atmosphere with no crowd and Id imagine you could hear everyone shouting and roaring. With the team and the performance, was it miles different to anything weve seen before? I wouldnt think so but they certainly tried to play it out from the back. Out of the back four, Shane Duffy looked nervous in possession when he was trying to set up the play. Neither of the full-backs played as well as maybe weve seen them playing at their clubs and that would suggest that maybe its a bit different for them now playing in a four at the back rather than a five at their clubs." The former Ireland manager also felt that while Ireland didn't pose an overt goal threat, they were far more comfortable and accurate in possession. "In midfield, we passed it fairly accurately most of the time and didnt give it away too often. The intent and intention was to try to keep possession and build-up play. In the front part of the pitch and out of the three players, I think ODowda was the best of them during the time he was on the pitch. "The other two are untried really at the top level. It was a brave decision to play both of them but theyve both got a lot of potential. We havent had an out-and-out goalscorer for many, many years. They worked hard to get the equalising goal. Brady and Robinson had a good influence when they came on. Overall, it was a satisfactory result and a satisfactory performance. Ireland host Finland on Sunday who will be looking for their first points of the campaign after they lost to Wales in Helsinki. You can view Kerr's comments below. "He's bright, industrious, energetic." Niall Quinn & Brian Kerr look at Aaron Connolly's performance tonight. #COYBIG | #NationsLeague | #VMSportpic.twitter.com/jK8Y5Yx5pB Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) September 3, 2020 BULGARIA 1-1 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Report: Manchester United Want To Offload Midfield Pair In This Window - Balls.ie
After a fairly slow start to the transfer window, it looks as though Manchester United are finally starting to do some business.It has been widely reported that club ...
After a fairly slow start to the transfer window, it looks as though Manchester United are finally starting to do some business. It has been widely reported that club are on the verge of signing Donny van de Beek from Ajax, with the midfielder set to move for a fee of around £40million. The Dutchman should be an excellent addition. Still only 23-years old, he has been one of the most sought after midfielders on the continent over the last 18 months or so. With the club looking to bring in another couple of signings over the course of the window, it also likely that we will see a few players leave Old Trafford. However, with a number of fringe players sitting on massive contracts, such deals could be difficult to pull off. According to Mail Sport, Manchester United will look to offload both Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira before the end of the current transfer window. Neither player had a major role to play at the club last season, with Lingard making only one Premier League start after the turn of the year. He was also left out of the matchday squad on a number of occasions. Pereira featured slightly more than his teammate but also found himself out of favour come the end of the campaign. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope that clearing this pair off the wage bill will open up room for more incomings. The Norwegian reportedly wants to sign a centre back, right winger, and a forward along with van de Beek before the end of the window.