Wednesday 26 September 2018

'You can't see any weaknesses in the Irish team' - Former England star wary of Joe Schmidt's side

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former England hooker Brian Moore believes Joe Schmidt's Ireland squad has no weak links as we face into the first weekend of the Six Nations.

All six teams have injury concerns heading into the tournament but Moore, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, believes Ireland's opponents have more areas of concern as they prepare for this weekend's fixtures.

"It’s true to say that you can’t see any areas of weakness in the Irish team," he said.

"I agree that there is depth in the England squad, but they are close to crisis in the tighthead, and the back row is at best questionable.

"The Scotland backs do look very sharp nearly all across the backline.

"There is an overhang from the Lions and some countries just don’t cope with it as well.

"What’s disappointing for me is that this should be the time that squads are focusing on their final 26 players for the World Cup, but there are so many injuries. "

Speaking on the Telegraph's 'Full Contact' podcast, former England flyhalf Rob Andrew made Ireland favourites for the title.

"If England’s front five is creaking then it could creep through the rest of the team," he said.

"Teams that will beat Scotland will strangle them up front.

"You wouldn’t put it past France to beat Ireland would you - but I think it’s unlikely.

"Ireland with their system, and with the players available, would be everybody’s favourites."

Ireland travel to Paris this weekend while Eddie Jones' England open their campaign against Conor O'Shea's Italy and Wales host Scotland.

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