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Eddie O’Sullivan Weighs In On Devin Toner Debate

eddie o'sullivan

Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan has weighed in on the debate surrounding Devin Toner’s exclusion from Ireland’s Rugby World Cup squad.

The Leinster lock, capped 67 times for Ireland, was the shock omission from Joe Schmidt’s squad earlier this week and the decision has divided the nation in the lead up to the World Cup.

Before today’s final warm-up game with Wales, former coach Eddie O’Sullivan highlighted just how big a call it was for Schmidt to make.

eddie o'sullivan

“The tough one for him this week must certainly have been Devin Toner! Because Toner has been the guy, he’s been the go-to guy all the way through at the lineout.

“And Toner developed his game. Not because he was such a great lineout technician, he took the mantle from Paul O’Connell, instead, he went on and played around the field.

“To leave him out would have been a massive call and that would have been a horrendously difficult discussion with Toner.

eddie o'sullivan

“He said it himself and I 100 per cent agree. The worst part of a coach’s job is telling a player you’re no longer needed here.

“You can dice it any way you want. What he’s saying is, ‘we don’t need you any more’, and that is a horrendous conversation for someone who has been working with him so long to have to deliver that message…. but his job is to do that.”

“If he thinks Ireland are better off with Jean Kleyn, he has to do it.”

O’Sullivan later admitted that if it was up to him Devin Toner would be on the plane to Japan.

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