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Thursday 8 December 2016

Irish to avoid arm wrestle

Coach Clarke calls on Emerging Ireland to raise game in Tbilisi

Emerging Ireland coach Allen Clarke can afford to embrace the experimental nature of the Tbilisi Cup against their hosts Georgia at The Avchala Stadium tomorrow (KO4.0, Irish time).

Georgia's failure to beat Emerging Italy means the Irish hold an unassailable six-point lead in completing their mission of putting this mini-tournament beside that of The Nations Cup from last year.

However, it is the standards and game plan set down that Clarke has not been too satisfied with as players went off-plan against Uruguay in the 33-7 win during the week.

"We've got to look at ourselves. We were in control of the issues we brought on ourselves," said a frustrated Clarke.

"The players have taken ownership of it. I've no doubt that they'll address it."

In a sense, the fact Ireland have already sealed The Tbilisi Cup removes the pressure from the Georgians. They just have to go out there and hit what they see.

"It is the fixture everybody wanted," said Clarke.

"It's good that we are going into it in the position that we are in.

"We know that in this environment the crowd are going to be with Georgia. We've got to be disciplined and we've got to back ourselves."

The arm injury to Rhys Ruddock is a reminder of how quickly things can go horribly wrong so quickly.

The Irish need to be on point physically and mentally right from the first whistle and maintain their commitment right through or this will turn into an arm wrestle.

If there is one thing Georgia do as well as anyone it is wrestling.

IRELAND U20s

Nigel Carolan introduces five different faces as the Ireland U20s bid to beat Scotland for the second time at this World Cup in the 7th-8th place play-off in Viadana at noon today.

"Scotland have proved to be a formidable opponent, however, we are confident that we can finish the tournament on a high note," voiced Carolan

Ireland: B Dardis; S Fitzgerald, G Ringrose, S Arnold, J Stockdale; J Carbery, C Rock; A Porter, Z McCall, C O'Donnell, D O'Connor, A Thompson, J Murphy (capt), R Moloney, L Dow.

Scotland: B Kinghorn; R Nairn, A Coombes, P Kelly, R Galloway; R Hutchinson, B Vellacott; M McCallum, S James, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, A Miller, N Irvine-Hess, J Ritchie (capt), M Bradbury.

Verdict: Ireland

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