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Six Nations 2020: Ireland ‘know what is coming’ against Wales – Farrell


Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff last season to win the Six Nations and complete a Grand Slam
Six Nations: Ireland v Wales
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 8 February Kick-off: 1415 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Five, Radio Ulster, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says his side are brimming with confidence before Wales’ visit to Dublin in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Wayne Pivac’s Wales hammered Italy in their opening game while Ireland battled past a dogged Scotland.

“Wales are Grand Slam champions and semi-finalists at the World Cup, and rightly so, they have been talked up as a great team,” said Farrell.

“We know what is coming this week and we get excited by that as well.”

Despite the contrasting performances in their opening games, Farrell believes Ireland “are in a good place” before Saturday’s encounter.

“If we win a few more collisions and win the race to the breakdown then the creative side will come a bit easier,” added Farrell on where Ireland can improve.

“Those type of things do take time but we will get better.

“We won our first game at home and I don’t think people were giving Scotland the credit that they deserve.

“We’re in a good place and we are brimming. We’re ready for what is going to be a really, really tough game.”

Ireland were let off the hook by missed Scotland chances in their Six Nations opener

A hat-trick from Josh Adams and further tries from new cap Nick Tompkins and George North set up Wales’ impressive victory in only their second game under Pivac, who has replaced Warren Gatland as head coach.

“I thought they were great,” added Farrell, “I think everyone is getting carried away with the wide, expansive game that they play.

“It’s great to watch and they are doing it really well but the same old traditions that we have seen under Warren are still there.

“Their kicking game is excellent, their chase and line speed are good, their width across the field defensively is good and they are clinical in the opposition 22.

“They are great at carrying the ball as well, and if you throw in some great individual players, then they have a great team.”

Deegan ready to step up

Farrell confirmed that Ulster back Will Addison will miss the game at the Aviva Stadium with a calf injury, and Caelan Doris, who made his debut last week, will be rested to follow concussion protocols.

Prop Dave Kilcoyne has been named on the replacements bench despite going through return to play protocols, with Ulster’s Jack McGrath on standby in case the Munster man does not recover in time.

With Doris out and centre Garry Ringrose set to miss two games with a finger injury, Peter O’Mahony and Robbie Henshaw come into the side for the Wales game.

“I thought they did pretty well when they came off the bench against Scotland,” said Farrell on O’Mahony and Henshaw.

“It was a tough call on both of them last week and it was down to fine margins as far as selection was concerned.”

Leinster back row Max Deegan has been named in the replacements

The reshuffle in the back row means that highly-rated Leinster prospect Max Deegan is in line to make his international debut from the bench, and Farrell believes the 23-year-old “has all the attributes of a great back row”.

“You go into the unknown a little bit with Test match rugby, but we feel he is ready,” added the head coach.

“He is a great all-round footballer and we feel he is going to add something to our dimension, especially in attack when he comes off the bench.

“It’s the right team to play against Wales and it is the right team to represent our group.”



Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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