RONAN O’Gara will play at fly half this Sunday afternoon, against Scotland, in the Six Nations as Ireland coach Declan Kidney makes three changes from the side that lost to France,
The other changes in personnel are Eoin Reddan to replace Tomas O’Leary, (out through injury) at scrum half, while Tommy Bowe comes in for Fergus Mc Fadden on the wing.
The pack remains untouched for round three of the championships, however the new look back line will excite many Irish fans.
O’Gara at 10 and Reddan at nine, will make for a quick brand of rugby. The Scots have been improving under Andy Robinson, with their structured, slow, patterned game plan. From the inclusion of Bowe and O’Gara, Ireland seem to be structuring their game towards a face paced, wide gameplan.
Bowe’s return comes after the Ospreys man missed the opening two games due to a knee injury. However, like O’Gara, Bowe came through a Magners League game last weekend.
Injury rules out Tomas O’Leary, (Stringer comes onto the bench) so it is impossible to know what call Kidney would have made if all three number nines were fit.
The changes that were made were needed. There may have even been calls for one or two more. Messr’s D’Arcy and Healy might count themselves lucky to be getting another start. D’Arcy more so than Healy, based on his last two performances against France and Italy.
Two years ago, Ireland left it late to defeat Scotland and this Sunday will be no different. Expect Ireland to chase Scotland from the start. The battle of the backrows will be immense and maybe even where the game is won. If O’Gara can get Ireland into a position to win, then Stringer and Sexton will be charged with finishing the job. On the flip side. Should Ireland need to chase the game, Stringer will be sprung to get the tempo up.
Expect a good performance from Ireland this weekend. They are due one.
Verdict: Ireland to win.