Tuesday 21 November 2017

THREE KEY BATTLES

ANDREW PORTER v BILLY WALKER

The scrum has been a weapon of destruction for both these sides and the battle between English tighthead Billy Walker (116kg) and Ireland's Andrew Porter (124kg) will be key. An edge by either will go a long way towards achieving victory for their side.

JOHNNY McPHILLIPS

v HARRY MALLINDER

Two years ago they were jostling for positions on the England U-18 team before McPhillips opted for the country where his parents are from. Mallinder has considerable Premiership experience under his belt with the Northampton Saints side coached by his dad Jim, but McPhillips (above) has been outstanding for Ireland after coming back in when Bill Johnston got injured earlier in the tournament. A kicking return of 14 from 16 is only part of the armoury - his link-play and chip-kicks will be crucial today.

SHANE DALY

v JOHNNY WILLIAMS

Both sides have electric three-quarters and any of the match-ups will be crucial but London Irish's Johnny Williams, who made 15 starts for the Exiles this season, is a key figure for the hosts, while Daly and Conor O'Brien have been central to nearly everything Ireland do.

Irish Independent

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