Saturday 20 January 2018

O'Shea will cope with emotion of playing Ireland, insists Dempsey

Girvan Dempsey Picture: Sportsfile
Girvan Dempsey Picture: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Girvan Demspey believes that his former team-mate Conor O'Shea will handle the emotion of the occasion when he attempts to derail Ireland's Six Nations campaign even further when they visit the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

O'Shea has already admitted that he had been looking forward to a "special" clash against his home country and Dempsey has seen enough in his short time in charge of Italy to believe that they will pose a major threat to Ireland.

"I think he's mentioned it, it's going to be a big emotional game for him," Dempsey maintained.

"You look at the way the Italians set up against the Welsh, I thought they were very good in the first half. They're going to pose Ireland a test.

"They commented on a few things that didn't go their way in the second half.


"I suppose they were frustrated with the scoreline at the end because they probably didn't feel that it reflected the game.

"Every time you play the Italians, you know you have to front up. Your set-piece has to be very strong, their scrum looked very good.

"They've got a strong defensive lineout and a strong attacking maul so Ireland have to make sure that they draw a line under their performance and learn from the things that didn't go well."

Dempsey is currently preparing his Leinster side for their Pro12 meeting with Treviso on Sunday and he has backed the fit-again Joey Carbery to impress and get back into the Ireland set-up.

"Joey has gone really, really well and has started training back. He's in good shape," Dempsey said.

"He just wants to get back on the field. He realises that his first stepping stone is to try and get into the Leinster squad and get game-time under his belt and press on. Then worry about higher honours further down the line."

Irish Independent

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