Friday 19 January 2018

Terminator wants to strike back

Irish U20 loose-head prop Andrew Porter. Photo: Sportsfile
Irish U20 loose-head prop Andrew Porter. Photo: Sportsfile

One To Watch

They call him 'The Terminator' in some parts.

Ireland U20 loose-head Andrew Porter has been earmarked for greater things. Much greater.

The power for which he is known has been exercised in the weights room where even Cian Healy's records are not safe.

"It's part of the game, it's a big part of it these days," he admitted.

The destructive, uncompromising nature of his game leaves a mark wherever he goes to work.

He is one of just four with U20 experience from last year.

Coach Nigel Carolan talked up the size and strength of Ireland's pack ahead of the Six Nations loss to Wales at Donnybrook last Friday.

Loose-head Porter knew what was coming: "We played Wales twice last year and unfortunately lost twice," he recalled.

"They had the same physical pack as always and the same physicality in the game."

In truth, Ireland were gradually overtaken by the Welsh, leaving them to stew on how size alone is not enough.

It has to be applied with attention to detail, accuracy and intent.

The chance for redemption will be here in a hurry when Ireland play France tomorrow night. "Yeah, they've always been a big pack," he said.

"I played a lot of those lads at 19s and a lot of them have come through this year."

France coach Thomas Lievremont spoke in glowing terms about this French squad long before the start of the Six Nations.

They were good value for half-a-dozen tries in a dismissive 40-3 defeat of Italy.

"Yeah, playing in France, away from home. They have a lot of pride in where they come from.

"I don't think it will be any different, I think they'll put it up to us."

The scrum responsibilities are first and foremost for any prop.

There were problems at this set-piece against Wales.

"From last weekend against Wales we gave away two easy penalties.

"We've been working on it a good bit this week."

The fruits of their labour will be tested to breaking point by what is sure to be a gargantuan French eight.

"We have been reviewing the French scrum," he said.

"We had a look at them against Italy. They used it well and as part of their attack plays."

He lead by deed or Ireland will be terminated.

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