The news is bad on Trevor Howley as this report confirms: he broke his ankle in that match on Sunday. You don’t need me to tell you what a significant setback to our Championship plans this is: Trevor has been a consistently strong performer so far this year and is probably our only back who plays 100% of the time like a top-class back should. Given our alarmingly charitable disposition towards other teams in terms of leaking soft goals, Trevor is probably the last person we’d want to lose off the team right now. This is seriously bad news, folks.
Johnno says in that report that he might be back in time for the Connacht final (assuming we get there) so it could be worse, I suppose. It does mean that we need to rearrange the backline, though, and I hope Johnno now has the good sense to use the opportunity as an excuse to redeploy Tom Cunniffe at centre-back. With BJ back in the saddle once again and the likes of Aidan Higgins, Jimmy Nallen, Kieran Conroy and Colm Boyle also pushing for slots in the full-back line, Cunniffe’s more attack-minded style – which he showed so well in the U21 All-Ireland semi against Kerry – would be better suited at half-back.
The other option would, I suppose, be to deploy Trevor Mort at wing-back and stick Heaney in at no.6. While that has a fair bit going for it in terms of experience and so forth, I’d still prefer to see Cunniffe get the nod in this pivotal position for the Sligo match on June 22nd.