Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ruddock reinstates French fancies

Ireland v Scotland, Dubarry Park, Tonight (KO 7.05) Live RTé 2

COACH Mike Ruddock will keep the one-game-at-a-time mantra to the forefront of Irish minds as the U20s make their way towards a Grand Slam decider against England.

Wales (11-6), France (13-12) and Italy (27-8) have been clipped without Ireland playing to their potential. They are creating chances, but not finishing enough of them to make them a serious threat to the English.

Ruddock brings in scrum-half Luke McGrath, hooker James Rael, lock Danny Qualter and openside Aaron Conneely as the four changes to the side which took care of Italy.

"We have reinstated a few of the lads that were involved in the win against France; we felt that they deserved to come back into the equation for this test," said Ruddock.


"We certainly don't underestimate the Scottish side. I have looked at their tapes and realise that our defence are going to have to work very hard to stop them crossing the line."

Scotland coach Peter Wright has been able to call on the services of Clermont-Auvergne outside centre Mark Bennett to bolster a side that has not won in three attempts.

They also have quality up front where prop Robin Hislop has played for the Edinburgh senior side and Richie Gray's not-so-little brother Jonny is in the van.

Their form to this point does not make for good reading, demolished by England 59-3, beaten by Wales 28-15 and losing to France 30-21 at home.

Verdict: Ireland

Ireland: S Layden; C Finn, C Farrell, JJ Hanrahan, F Horan; P Jackson (capt), L McGrath; K McCall, J Rael, P Reilly, I Henderson, D Qualter, C Gilsenan, A Conneely, J Conan.

Scotland: T Allen; J Farndale, M Bennett, F Russell, M Crawley; H Leonard (capt), M Torrance; R Hislop, G Turner, A Allan, A Redmayne, J Gray, M Eadie, J Swanson, W Bordill.

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