Finn Russell These constituents are smart.
ANOTHER day of cloak and dagger in the land of kimonos and samurai.
Are Rob Kearney and Keith Earls fit to play against Scotland? The IRFU and Andy Farrell say they are on track to take their place. Informed sources suggest otherwise.
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Will Addison remains in Belfast, no plans have been drawn up to station him in Saipan and so Joe Schmidt presses on with a possibility that he’ll have six fit outside backs for six jerseys Sunday’s opener against Scotland.
Thursday is a day off for the squad, they train overnight in Yokohama and Schmidt names the team Friday morning.
Despite the official soundings, all indications are that the back three against the Scots will be Andrew Conway at full-back and Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale on the wings.
It’s far from the trio Schmidt would have planned to field in a game he’s been building towards for a couple of seasons, but such is the hand he’s been dealt.
Gone would be the experience of Kearney’s 95 Test caps with Ireland and the Lions and Earls’ 78 appearances for his country and in comes the exciting pair of former golden boys Conway and Larmour.
Given Larmour has had four starts at full-back in the last 13 internationals, it might have been expected that he’d don the No 15 jersey but it appears that concerns over his positioning in the back-field see him remain on the wing.
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So, it is Conway, who more frequently wears the No 14 shirt for club and country, who is set to deputise for Kearney in Yokohama.
The last time he started at full-back for Ireland was in November, 2017 against Fiji and he started there four times in 20 Munster outings last season.
When Will Addison came off in the warm-up win over Wales, Conway moved across and had a relentless 20 minutes of defending to do
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