Friday 15 December 2017

Trimble braced for 'Black-lash'

Winger warns Ireland must be even better for Aviva rematch

Andrew Trimble at a press conference in Carton House yesterday. PIARAS Ó MÍDHEACH/SPORTSFILE
Andrew Trimble at a press conference in Carton House yesterday. PIARAS Ó MÍDHEACH/SPORTSFILE
David Kelly

David Kelly

Andrew Trimble is expecting a "Black-lash" from New Zealand when the world champions arrive in Dublin next week gunning for revenge after last Saturday's first defeat in 111 years against the Irish.

And the Ulster wing claims that Ireland can only back up their historic Chicago achievement by producing an even better performance in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week.

"It is possible," insisted Trimble after the Irish squad touched down in their Carton House base yesterday ahead of Saturday's clash with Canada.

"Of course it's possible. If you'd asked this time last week was it possible to beat the All Blacks, a lot of people would have said no.

"We proved that it is possible, so if it is possible to do it once then it is possible to do it again. It is a massive challenge to get our heads around it but it is possible.

"It's important at this level when you are playing the best teams in the world, that you come off the pitch and take something from it - you have to become a better side.

"There were mistakes on Saturday and there's definitely things we can get better at. And we have to get better because New Zealand will get better too."

Jordi Murphy will not play any part after team manager Mick Kearney confirmed that the Leinster flanker, who scored the opening try in the stunning Soldier Field coup, ruptured his left ACL and will miss between six and nine months of action.

However, Jonathan Sexton will be fit for the rematch after being taken off with merely cramp as a precaution after the third quarter, while Ulster out-half Paddy Jackson has returned to the squad.

A number of debutants are possible this weekend against the Canucks, including wings Niyi Adeolokun and Darren Sweetnam, along with Leinster flanker Dan Leavy and his Munster counterpart Jack O'Donoghue.

With much of the Chicago contingent expected to be rested, further additions to the squad announced yesterday, which also included Munster prop Dave Kilcoyne and Connacht back three player Tiernan O'Halloran, may also feature.

As Ireland climbed to fifth in the world rankings, Jamie Heaslip was announced as one of the six contenders to win World Rugby's coveted Player of the Year award.

Heaslip, who lost out to Richie McCaw in 2009, joins Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Dane Coles (New Zealand), Owen Farrell (England), Maro Itoje (England) and Billy Vunipola (England) on the list of players from whom the winner will be chosen in London next Sunday.

Keith Wood remains Ireland's only ever winner of the award, having claimed the gong in the year of its inception in 2001.

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