Bring on Scotland for in-form Ireland

The brave Irish side lining up in the Stade de Paris before their last Rugby World Cup outing a fortnight ago. Photo: Harry Murphy.

UNBEATEN in their last 16 test matches, Ireland enter this evening’s final pool fixture with Scotland having scored an impressive average of just over 50 points per outing so far at Rugby World Cup 2023, with a collective concession of a paltry 32.

Not surprisingly, Andy Farrell’s side remain one of the favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy at the end of the month.

Word from the Irish camp is that everything is going according to plan, with Jack Conan declared fit for action and Cian Healy’s recovery softening any worries for loose head cover, should it be required.

Ireland also benefit from a strong bench with Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, and David Kilcoyne contributing significantly and steering the ship home safely against the ‘Boks’ a fortnight ago.

Ireland’s progress will be judged over the next couple of weekends, beginning with the imminent crunch clash against Celtic rivals Scotland, who fielded only a second string on Saturday and still recorded an 80-plus point victory over Romania.

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It is unlikely there will be any changes in the Irish side and it looks as if the head coach will be sticking with the tried and trusted, with Jack Conan likely to be named among the replacements.

Ben Healy’s dream World Cup debut should see him get a bench seat for the Scots while Darcy Graham’s four-try performance will not have gone unnoticed by Ireland.

It promises to be a cracking contest with the laurels providing a possible more favourable place in the last eight.

Expectations are high for the Irish and current form points in the direction of the Cranberries classic again providing the post-match music after the final whistle in Stade de France.

Ireland will face down Scotland in Paris this evening at 8pm, with televised coverage from Virgin Media.

While all the rugby focus is on happenings in France, life goes on locally with the Energia All Ireland League blasting off this weekend.

All our local clubs are in action today. In Division 1A Young Munster (Bateman Cup finalists) travel to meet Landsdowne and Shannon host UCD at Thomond Park. In 1B, Garryowen are at Highfield. In 2A, Old Crescent welcome MU Barnhall to Takumi Park and UL Bohemians are away to Nenagh, while in 2C Bruff are on the road to Clonmel.

Written by Aidan Corr.