Ryan Byrne/INPHO
# release the hounds
Open Thread: Who would you like to see get a run with the Wolfhounds tomorrow night?
The team-sheets will be unveiled today for the ‘A’ international in Cork.

WITH LITTLE OVER a week to go before the start of the Six Nations, competition for places in the finalised squads of both Joe Schmidt’s Ireland and Stuart Lancaster’s England is intense.

Tomorrow night’s ‘A’ international between Ireland Wolfhounds and England Saxons will feature players who are looking to make their case to their coach. However, in Ireland’s case, we also have players desperately in need of match fitness and form so it’s not simply a matter of giving lads a run and sending them home.

Ian Madigan is short on time playing at number 10 and Schmidt needs to test run viable option at scrum-half if Conor Murray can’t satisfy his neck specialist.

The Saxons promise to play Sam Burgess and Chris Ashton, so they won’t be wanting for power, while the Wolfhounds provide an opportunity for Iain Henderson, Sean O’Brien and possibly Cian Healy to get some minutes under their belt after long stretches on the sidelines.

Who would you pick to start or give 20 minutes off the bench to against the Saxons?

Jamie Heaslip never tired of learning from the world’s great ‘outliers’

Paul O’Connell: ‘I don’t know whether this will be my last Six Nations’

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