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Stockdale backs Larmour and Conway to deliver in crucial World Cup opener

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Jordan Larmour during Ireland Rugby squad training at the Ichihara Suporeku Park in Ichihara, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jordan Larmour during Ireland Rugby squad training at the Ichihara Suporeku Park in Ichihara, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Jordan Larmour during Ireland Rugby squad training at the Ichihara Suporeku Park in Ichihara, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jacob Stockdale is backing Jordan Larmour and Andrew Conway to step in for Rob Kearney and Keith Earls and step up in Ireland’s World Cup opener against Scotland tomorrow morning.

Despite being only 23, the prolific Ulster winger is the most experienced member of a back three that has never started a Test match together before.

Joe Schmidt has had to make do without Kearney (hamstring) and Earls (knee) for the opening game in Yokohama, but Ireland remain upbeat about their and Joey Carbery's ability to be fit to face Japan this day week.

And Stockdale says the understudies will have no fear of the occasion as all three make their tournament debuts against the Scots.

"Our preparation has been very good," Stockdale said. "It is a loss not to have Rob and Keith in back three, their experience, but Andrew and Jordan have played a lot of rugby and I’ve played a fair bit with them.

"They are exciting players to play with, they want to get on ball and attack. As a winger that is very exciting.

"It hasn’t changed how we prepare, we’re just excited to get going."

Stockdale says the squad are itching to get their campaign underway.

"Whenever pre-season started, I thought it was going to be an age until it starts but the buzz is starting to build generally.

"It was a weird feeling to see it finally kicked off and officially started. I’m just looking forward to getting stuck in."

The winger is expecting Scotland to put the back three under pressure, but he reckons the Irish have the capacity to cope with any bombardment.

"Scotland have good variance, an intelligent kicking game  and Finn Russell likes to put in few smart chip kicks and crossfield kicks which, if you’re not switched on in the back three, can hurt you.

"We’ve looked at them a lot this week to try to stop them.

"We haven’t really set put any specific things in (counter) attack, we try to do what we do well, whenever we do that we want to be accurate, running good lines. We are at our most dangerous when doing that, that’s when teams struggle to keep with us rather than having any magical plans to undo Scotland."

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