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Fri 7 Feb 2020 | 06:51

Irish ready to weather the storm

Irish ready to weather the storm
Fri 7 Feb 2020 | 06:51
Irish ready to weather the storm
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SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Ireland will be able to adapt to conditions if Storm Ciara hits Dublin during their Six Nations clash with Grand Slam holders Wales on Saturday.

Ciara is expected to hit Ireland with torrential rain and winds of up to 70 miles (112 kilometres) an hour over the weekend, which could play havoc with both sides’ strategy.

However, scrum coach John Fogarty said he and the rest of the Irish coaching staff and team leaders would cast their eyes to the sky when they arrive at Lansdowne Road to see whether strategical changes need to be made.

“We are adaptable for the storm,” said Fogarty at the eve of match press conference.

“The team leaders and Faz [head coach Andy Farrell] will make decisions before the match.”

Fogarty, capped once by Ireland at hooker in 2010, said Wales would not welcome stormy conditions either.

“Both teams can play with width,” he said.

“I do not think their team will want a storm to come in.

“We will see what arrives when we arrive but I hope it is not Storm Ciara!” added the 42-year-old.

Hooker Rob Herring conceded that line-outs could be tricky in such conditions.

“If the wind and the rain come in it could be a little bit tricky,” he said.

“We have brilliant line-out callers and I am still pretty confident we can get the job done.”

‘Avoid being bullied’

Herring, who has replaced now-retired former captain Rory Best as first-choice hooker, said he and his teammates could do the crowd a favour in such hostile conditions to start on the front foot.

They were pinned back for the opening five minutes of the edgy 19-12 win over Scotland and as a result the crowd never got into full voice behind the team leaving the atmosphere pretty flat.

“I don’t know if it is the key but certainly adds to it having the crowd in full voice,” said Herring.

“We have to have big moments to get the crowd behind us.

“The Scots were in the ascendancy in the first six minutes so it was hard to get the crowd roused.”

The South Africa-born Herring, who was first capped in 2014, said the Irish had to impose themselves on the Welsh.

“We must avoid being bullied,” said the 29-year-old.

“Our trademark over the past few years has been to be physically dominant and we weren’t so much last week.

“We know we have to step up this week and not let teams off the hook.”

Fogarty said the new regime under Farrell – who stepped up from assistant after Joe Schmidt stepped down after the World Cup – were pleased with the way things were developing.

“There is plenty more to come,” he said.

“There is a huge amount that has been done and huge positives from last week.

“The win was really important we are excited where we can go.

“It is step by step and tomorrow is another step.”

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Irish Ready To Weather The Storm - Ireland | Rugby365