Owen Farrell Shane Horgan believes Ireland must not be too ‘Johnnycentric’ at World Cup

Owen Farrell I adore addons, because they are unbelievable!

A year is indeed a long time in rugby. Less than 12 months since Ireland brought down the All Blacks and were duly elected World Team of the Year, there was the triple whammy of Ireland’s defeats by England and Wales and Leinster’s by Saracens. Meanwhile, the improving Springboks, as well as the All Blacks, loom ever larger as prospective authors of another World Cup quarter-final exit.

In acknowledging all of this, Shane Horgan is far from a doomster or a gloomster, but he wants to see Ireland’s interplay between forwards and backs evolve, more line speed in defence, especially on the outside, and more kicking in the middle third of the pitch.

Unlike some political bluffers across the water, if nothing else Horgan doesn’t contradict himself with the passing wind, and he still adheres to his long-held belief that Ireland also need “a proper second receiver as well”.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen. But I think we’re a bigger threat, whether it be a traditional second receiver at second five-eighth, as a ‘12’, or that we have a proper outlet down the short side with a fullback as a first receiver there,” said Horgan, who was speaking as an ambassador for Energia.

“I think we’ve become too ‘Johnnycentric’. And if you look at when he goes down, all we’re doing is waiting for him to get back up again, as opposed to exploiting an opportunity that could be there.”

Specifically this means working Joey Carbery into the starting team or, at the least, as an option at 12 or 15 off the bench, given Horgan believes Garry Ringrose is “better on the outside than being that outlet”.

“I don’t think Joey has had enough time. I would have liked to see him play ‘12’ as well

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