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Ireland have been somewhat boosted by the news that Robbie Henshaw is staying on in Japan but unfortunately his hamstring injury won’t allow him to be available for this weekend.
It’s a huge blow for Ireland despite the strength in their centre positions because of how Henshaw performed in the Wales game two weeks ago. He looked sharp and hungry at just the right time for Ireland.
In more positive news Joey Carbery is set to resume his position on the bench for Ireland and is reportedly fit to go should he be called upon.
Joe Schmidt’s side will need to be close to full strength to deal with the threat posed by the Scots on Sunday. They bring a lot of their own strengths to the game particularly in the backline.
Gregor Townsend has instilled a style of rugby in them that we had seen in Glasgow over the last number of years with a lot of the same personnel.
Finn Russell is a bag of tricks and throws a lot of wide passes which will stretch the Ireland defence. Andy Farrell will have his own thoughts on this and will want his back line to come up off their defensive line without letting Scotland get more than two passes away to get the ball to the wings.
Farrell will take some confidence from the France intercept try (Murrayfield warm-up in August) that was a direct result of ambitious, wide passing from Scotland. If Ireland don’t dictate the speed of the ruck they won’t be able to get their defensive line set to be ready for these passes and to be able to cut them out.
If they can slow the ball for a second or two with the likes of Stander, O’Mahony and Josh Van Der Flier it will make the outside backs job a lot easier.
The Scottish backs have pace though, Blair Kinghorn, Hogg, Darcy Graham andTommy Seymour. They will all thrive on receiving these wide passes should they get to the wings around Irelands n
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