Monday 22 January 2018

Kidney takes it on the chin and promises to restore 'Irish way' for Samoa

Hugh Farrelly

Declan Kidney yesterday held his hands up over the tactics that led to Ireland's downfall against South Africa last weekend.

The Irish coach believes, however, they will be a better side for the lessons they learned and says the team will bring their "Irish way" to bear on Samoa at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

The Ireland coach made 10 personnel and one positional alteration to the side that went down 21-23 to the world champions, with Luke Fitzgerald switched to his favourite full-back role for the injured Rob Kearney and Ronan O'Gara joining Peter Stringer at half-back after their influential cameos last Saturday.

With Tony Buckley out for the rest of the November Series, John Hayes will win his 103rd cap at tight-head alongside Tom Court, with Sean Cronin at hooker, while Leinster's 6' 10'' Devin Toner wins his first cap in the second-row alongside Donncha O'Callaghan.


Flankers Denis Leamy and Sean O'Brien come into the back-row next to Jamie Heaslip, with Paddy Wallace at first centre and Andrew Trimble getting the nod over Keith Earls on the left wing. Kidney will name his bench later in the week after players are assessed in training. The coach believes the changes have injected excitement into the squad and said there is a motivation to translate that into their attacking play and get back to winning ways after not adapting to the wet conditions against South Africa.

"We were bitterly disappointed after last week," said Kidney. "We know we can play better, but we have a plan and we don't want to tighten up or seize up, we want to play an Irish way.

"I hold my hand up, maybe I didn't cover what happens if it buckets down like it did last week, but we'll learn from it and I believe we can become a better side for it."

Irish Independent

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