Sunday 21 January 2018

Marty Moore looking to right some wrongs against France

Michael Verney

Irish forward Marty Moore is eagerly looking forward to locking horns with France's Vincent Debaty in Saturday's Six Nations clash in Dublin and is hoping to improve on last year's difficulties with the same opponent.

Moore was sprung from the bench in the 26-3 victory over Italy in Rome last weekend and in his second year with the national squad he feels he has even more to offer than the victorious 2014 campaign.

The tighthead prop regularly replaces Leinster compatriot Mike Ross in the scrum during the final quarter of big games and hopes to right some wrongs against his larger opponent if called upon this weekend.

"I know Debaty is back in the squad, I had my dealings with him last year and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting the chance to right a few things," Moore said.

"I know what to expect this time around, a year is a long time in professional rugby. Last year was my first year but I know what's coming down the tracks now this week."

Moore appreciates the value of Debaty to a French scrum which was dominant in their opening weekend 15-8 victory over Scotland and hopes to pit his wits against the fearsome prop once again.

He said: "I think Debaty brings a lot to the team - he's a very aggressive player and he'll only add to their side. He could start but he's very effective as a sub also and I'm sure I'll be squatting down against him at some stage."

On his 'impact sub' role Moore said it's part and parcel of international rugby in the modern era given the high attrition rate and the 23-year-old is thankful to be in the squad after his shoulder injury troubles.

"You do whatever you can and the final decision is with the coach, that's professional sport. I'm happy to be in the environment. Four months ago I would have been guessing if I said I'd be here so it's great to be involved," he said.

Read more: Johnny Sexton and Sean O'Brien "raring to go" ahead of French test

"There are very few international tightheads that can play can play 80 minutes and even if they do they won't be as effective past 60 minutes. They usually turn into passengers after that."

Moore thinks he has progressed as a player since his international debut and feels like his injury woes have given him an opportunity to develop mentally as a player.

"It was a huge year and it capped off a great breakthrough year. It gives me confidence going up against anybody. Coming up against these French boys on Saturday I know exactly what it takes now."

"Last year it was all new to me, everything was a first. I think this year I'm a little more relaxed and I think the injury actually gave me a lot of time to prepare mentally, speak with Enda McNulty, get stronger and feel at home in the set up," he said.

Read more: Five French stars who could leave Ireland's Six Nations title hopes in tatters

Moore said his colleagues worked a lot on mauling in today's training session and he feels they are well versed to stop the threat of the dominant French pack.

"We have to get dominant up front to see off these boys. At set piece time you never really know what to expect from them and we must keep our discipline and keep the penalty count down, like we did against Italy."

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