Coach Farrell expects Ireland to be ruthless against Italy

Ross Houston
October 23, 2020

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell had a full squad at his disposal for training today as preparations ramped up for this Saturday's resumption of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations. Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 21 caps13.

On that day, they were well beaten by table leaders England, who, like in their two previous encounters, started fast and never let up.

"Defence is all about energy, body language and making other guys around you feel better".

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell

"We've had a few days together to see how they fit into new systems and pressures of worldwide rugby, being able to adapt quickly", said Farrell. I hope that you see a dynamism in our contact skills that gets the ball back.

Connors had been earmarked to feature against Italy in the build-up to the original March 7 date for the game, but the coronavirus pandemic-enforced delay put the 24-year-old's chances of a Test debut against the Azzurri in doubt.

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton insists his side must not lose focus of the task at hand against Italy on Saturday by adopting a free-wheeling approach.

It will be interesting to see now whether that changes slightly against Italy and France.

"No one across Irish Rugby in the women's game is actually able to pull on a jersey and play right now and yet here we are already privileged to represent our country and be one of the only teams actually playing in these times".

Farrell said: "We think Josh is a great player and he always has been for us".

"We know it is there to be won and we will be hungry to do that and we won't be frightened by that". And Paris is a hell of a game, isn't it?

Even though Farrell is still very early in the job, it is not surprising he wants to finish his first Six Nations well.

Leinster wing Keenan also steps in for his Test bow, in a back-three shorn of Jordan Larmour, who faces up to 16 weeks on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder.

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