Wednesday 17 July 2019

Jack McGrath doesn't believe Romania will be impeded by four day turnaround

Ireland's Jack McGrath speaks to the media during a press conference. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Ireland Rugby Press Conference. St George's Park, Burton-upon-Trent, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Jack McGrath speaks to the media during a press conference. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Ireland Rugby Press Conference. St George's Park, Burton-upon-Trent, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

If Romania are feeling sorry for themselves ahead of playing France and Ireland in the space of four days they’ll find little sympathy around St George’s Park.

Ireland prop Jack McGrath dismissed the idea that the 17th ranked team in the world are at a distinct disadvantage this week, while centre Jared Payne suggested they can make it work in their favour.

The Oaks, who have yet to kick off their tournament, take on Les Bleus at the Olympic Stadium tomorrow night, before pitching up to Wembley to face Ireland on Sunday.

“It's just the way the rankings have gone, the seedings have gone and there's not a lot we can do about that,” McGrath said.

“All we can do is give them the respect we deserve, turn up and give them a good game.

“I wouldn't think that, that's not the case (that Romania are being punished for their place in the pecking order). It's just the way the chips fell and there's not a whole lot we can do about it. I didn't make the fixture list.

“Japan just beat South Africa, I wouldn't say that's getting stung. We'll see tomorrow how they get on (against Scotland). It's only stung if you lose the game.

“So, it's a long way to go in the World Cup.

“If they can back up the two games then they have a nine-day turnaround after that, so if you can play two games in four or five games and have a bit of a rest after then it's not the end of the world.

“If it was just another four days after that, it'd be a bit unfair but it's just the way it happened and that's it.”

Asked if he felt he could play two full Tests in four days, the Leinster loosehead said “absolutely”.

Payne, meanwhile believes that Ireland can exploit the Romanians’ fatigue by playing at pace, but isn’t discounting them on the basis that they’ll have rotated their squad.

“It could be an advantage to us, but at the same time as  a player sometimes you don't mind the four day turnarounds because you don't have to do too much in the gym or too much on the pitch, you get to relax in between and sort of front up for the game, which is nice,” he said.

“It could work in their favour as well, it's going to be interesting to see how is pans outs on Sunday.”

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