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TARTAN BARMY

THE 'Tartan Army' is descending on Dublin for the clash between Ireland and Scotland in the Six Nations rugby tournament tomorrow.

As flights full of kilt-clad Scottish fans began arriving last night in Dublin Airport, most of those who spoke to the Herald were confident their side will emerge victorious.

Ross Hunter (56) said: "The Scots will pull out another last-minute victory."

The Edinburgh man was part of an 11-strong group dubbed 'The Guinness Garglers' who have been travelling to Dublin for rugby matches for 22 years.

He said they got their name in O'Neill's pub in Dublin on one of their first visits when they were enjoying pints of the black stuff.

He said: "This is a two-yearly pilgrimage to Dublin. We're all wearing kilts, all different tartans.

"I'm usually responsible for doing all the chanting in the group – getting up in the pub and giving it some. I'd sing any old Scottish stuff, like Wild Mountain Thyme."

He named Brian O'Driscoll as an Irish rugby player he admired, saying "more power to him" when told the former captain would become the most-capped Ireland player tomorrow.

"He's an old man like us now," he joked.

His pal, Ross Findlay (58), rated Dublin as the group's favourite rugby destination, saying "we come here on a boys' tour" and explained that wives and partners accompany them to the "more exotic" fixtures in Rome and Paris.

"I think it would be a wonderful achievement if Scotland won," he said. "It's going to be a very difficult match because the Irish must be really up for it following their great performance against the All Blacks.

HUNGRY

"That must have set them up to try and go out and do a Grand Slam this year. I think they must be hungry for it."

Glasgow man Ross Hardie (23), said he and his friend Stewart Connor (24) would also take in a hurling match on their trip. On the rugby game, he said: "I think it'll be a tight one – they're good Celtic nations, two brothers competing. I think it'll be a good one but hopefully Scotland will beat them this time."

hnews@herald.ie


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