| 21.8°C Dublin

'I back them to solve those issues' - Dan McFarland believes Henderson and Ryan can stabilise Ireland lineout

Close

18 September 2019; Ulster head coach Dan McFarland in attendance during the Guinness PRO14 launch at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

18 September 2019; Ulster head coach Dan McFarland in attendance during the Guinness PRO14 launch at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

18 September 2019; Ulster head coach Dan McFarland in attendance during the Guinness PRO14 launch at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Ulster coach Dan McFarland has backed caller Iain Henderson to stabilise Ireland’s creaking lineout against Scotland in Yokohama.

"They're broad shoulders, he's a good player, with James Ryan there as well, they're two excellent players," voiced the Ulster coach, at the PRO14 launch yesterday.

"There is a little pressure there, I suppose, the lineout hasn't been the best thing.

"But, I back them to solve those issues."

The Irish will certainly need to stingy out of touch because the sight of the Scots playing off turnover ball is one to make eyes sore with Stuart Hogg lurking out wide.   

Their unpredictability is what makes them such a dangerous proposition for Ireland. 

There is no better example of this than the way Gregor Townsend's men fell 31 points behind to England before rebounding in miraculous style to fashion a draw at Twickenham in March.

Like Ireland, there have been accusations of being limited in their strategy.

It is just the other way around, playing fast and loose when there are times they should go slow and tight.    

"I read Scotland only have one way to play, but I don't see that," issued their former forwards coach.

Rugby Newsletter

Subscribe to 'The Collision' for a weekly update from Rugby Correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor and the best writing from our expert team Issued every Friday morning

This field is required

"I think a lot of the questions around that is they should be tightening things up, not being so loose with the ball, trying to dominate teams."

McFarland sees this as 'a fool's errand,' unsuited to their personnel.

"That's not their make-up," he said.

"This is not a team built with France's forwards or England's forwards, playing with speed for them is smart."

Scotland play with collective speed, something McFarland is keen install at Ulster.  

"They're not a side who'll look to physically dominate an opposition. They're smart rugby players who can play at speed," he said.

"John Barclay, Ryan Wilson, Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg, Duncan Taylor, these are classy players, they're not Bastareaud type players."

It is not really a side built to play in the rain forecasted for Yokohama on Sunday.

"Scotland do have a really good kicking game, they've got some long boots in there - Finn (Russell) can kick a long way, (Stuart) Hogg can kick it.

"Territorially, they can take advantage of poor weather when you don't necessarily want the ball.

"But, Joe's premium on possession means in the wet weather that's when you need to keep the ball, not losing it often is a good thing."


Most Watched





Privacy