The teams were announced yesterday for the RBS Six Nations Match which takes place Saturday afternoon at Murrayfield, kick off 2:25pm. Live on BBC1.
It has the potential to be quite an exciting match between two sets of players coming into the game with a bit of form behind them, except for the Ulster players of course. Picking three players from a team going through one of their worst runs in the professional era could be a bit of a gamble for Joe Schmidt, particularly as two are in key positions.
Best, due to pick up his 101st cap, has been there and done it all before and should be able to put his club form behind him – please let there be no crucial line out yips! Henderson just seems to play his own game whatever the circumstances but Paddy could be feeling under a bit of pressure.
It’s a tad unfair, as halfbacks can only distribute the ball that the forwards win. How well and how quickly that ball is presented obviously determines what they can do with it, but it’s Paddy that will be in the spotlight and if the forwards are not functioning it’ll be him getting the blame.
That forward battle could be fascinating. Scotland have gone down the road of a fast paced offloading game with fairly high risks whereas Ireland favour the choke tackle and brute force and these comparitively negative tactics may have had their day. Personally I would have been happier if O’Brien and van der Flyer swapped places.
The FRU Predicts: The interpretation of the new tackle laws, under the intense spotlight that accompanies the Six Nations tournament, could determine the outcome of this game and I can easily picture Ireland finishing this game without a full team on the pitch. I think the Scots might pinch this one.
|Stuart Hogg||15||Rob Kearney|
|Sean Maitland||14||Keith Earls|
|Huw Jones||13||Garry Ringrose|
|Alex Dunbar||12||Robbie Henshaw|
|Tommy Seymour||11||Simon Zebo|
|Finn Russell||10||Paddy Jackson|
|Greig Laidlaw||9||Conor Murray|
|Allan Dell||1||Jack McGrath|
|Fraser Brown||2||Rory Best|
|Zander Fagerson||3||Tadhg Furlong|
|Richie Gray||4||Iain Henderson|
|Jonny Gray||5||Devin Toner|
|Ryan Wilson||6||CJ Stander|
|Hamish Watson||7||Sean O’Brien|
|Josh Strauss||8||Jamie Heaslip|
|Ross Ford||16||Niall Scannell|
|Gordon Reid||17||Cian Healy|
|Simon Berghan||18||John Ryan|
|Tim Swinson||19||Ultan Dillane|
|John Barclay||20||Josh van der Flier|
|Ali Price||21||Kieran Marmion|
|Duncan Weir||22||Ian Keatley|
|Mark Bennett||23||Tommy Bowe|