Saturday 23 September 2017

Scrum guru Marco Caputo insists Cian Healy can exert dominance over England's Dan Cole

Cian Healy in action during squad training
Cian Healy in action during squad training
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

CIAN HEALY is ready to start Sunday's Six Nations showdown against England and resume his scrum dominance over tighthead Dan Cole.

That's according to Leinster scrum coach Marco Caputo, who believes Healy (above) showed enough against Zebre on Friday to prove he can thrive at the highest level after returning from his hamstring injury and says his record against the Leicester veteran may see him get the nod ahead of Jack McGrath.

Ireland assembled at Carton House last night where Joe Schmidt is expected to replace injured No 8 Jamie Heaslip with Jordi Murphy, while Eoin Reddan is set to come back on to the bench.

Caputo reckons there is also a choice to make at loosehead prop.

"Cian showed enough in his 40 minutes that he's not far away," he said.

"Cole is not very well conditioned - they brought him back after a long lay-off and he was one or two games in, had another injury that forced him out for another two or three weeks. His first game back was a Six Nations match.

"Cole's bogey man seems to be Cian Healy - he doesn't like scrummaging against Cian.

"Ireland will look at the threat that the English scrum has and do their homework, I've no doubt the Irish coaching group will be keen to get Cian out there."

England look set to make two changes to their team, with Alex Goode primed to replace Mike Brown and Jack Nowell pushing Jonny May for a wing berth. Coach Stuart Lancaster is expecting an Irish onslaught.

"We've all been involved in games where Ireland have raised their game and played unbelievably well," he said.

"This is a team who have won nine on the bounce, a very good side, very well coached, with a lot of good players, who also will be hugely motivated by England coming to Dublin. "A few of the players have felt what Ireland are like at their very best and we're sure it'll be coming our way."

Irish Independent

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