Sunday 26 February 2017

Ireland's changes should not weaken cause at Twickenham

In the Six Nations, I'll forgive Ireland for the resounding defeat in Paris as they met France on a going day and nothing went their way.

England at Twickenham should not be as tough a task, since England are closer in quality to Scotland than France.

If you ask me, Ireland will not be weaker for the four changes from two weeks ago. Although they will miss Rob Kearney, Geordan Murphy is an able replacement and as long as Rory Best's throwing into the line-out is steady, I think he may improve the side as his scrummaging is stronger than Jerry Flannery's.

Furthermore, O' Callaghan will be better in open play than Leo Cullen and Jonny Sexton can step up at out-half. England's narrow win over Italy in Rome was dull and unimpressive and with some talented backs, the insistence on kicking the ball away was baffling.

Johnson has stated that the gameplan won't change and if this is true, then it will play into Ireland's hands.

I'd suggest backing Ireland to win at 21/20 (Blue Square) and I reckon Keith Earls should find it easier to impress back on the wing; so he is taken to score the first try at 16/1 (sportingbet).

Irish Independent

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