Saturday, March 2, 2024

Andy Farrell seeks to influence team, hopes manager wins – Irish Times

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Ireland v Italy

The venue is Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Kickoff: Sunday, 3pm. TV: Virgin Media One and ITV.

At first glance, almost everything about this match appears designed to ensure an Irish comeback, if not an unthinkable one. The height of last week’s record win on French soil, a formula for what will be the most lopsided match of this year’s Guinness Six Nations, an inexperienced and somewhat experimental Ireland selection, with nothing to lose A potentially dangerous Italian team and, of course, a sleepy Sunday afternoon kick-off.

Amid six changes to the starting XI following the stunning 38-17 win at Marseille, Andy Farrell was confirmed to have picked up an injury despite once again being thought to be fit. Both absent captains Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Furlong did not train at all this week due to calf injuries, but are unlikely to miss the game against Wales in two weeks’ time. Same as above, Mr. Bundy Aki, whose “knees are shaking”.

Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham and Stuart McCloskey therefore join the team.

Additionally, Tadhg Beirne, who has played the most minutes (1,262) of any other member of the Ireland squad this season, will be rested, with Josh van der Flier and Jamison Gibson-Park in the substitutes. Left behind.

As a result, James Ryan and Jack Connan were promoted from the bench, and Craig Casey was given his fourth Test start (third against Italy). O’Mahony, the team’s other centurions, It will line up with Cyan. Healy, Conor Murray and Ciaran Frawley also make way.

Caelan Doris was converted to openside and became the 110th Irish captain to be captained for the first time in what is perhaps the most significant selection in the long run.

This would seem to suggest that Doris not only remains Van der Flier’s replacement openside, but has also been named as O’Mahony’s heir apparent.

With Johnny Sexton retiring and O’Mahony unlikely to captain the team until the next World Cup, Farrell will develop more leaders within the squad, regardless of whether a long-term successor is in place. admitted that it needed to be done.

“Yes, 100 percent. The leadership group and the rest of the team continue to grow in this regard. This week we see them following Caelan and Caelan being happy to be himself. It was really fun to watch.

“And within that group, we obviously have more than capable people. Ian Henderson, the leadership he has, James Ryan, obviously the former Ireland captain, and Garry Ringrose, who has emerged as a leader. You can see what’s going on. We’re in a good place in that regard.”

Either way, the net effect is a total of 695 caps for Ireland on Matchday 23, compared to 1,033 at the Stade Velodrome a week ago. It is also true that a relatively weakened Irish team has a history of not always meeting Farrell’s preferences, with the match against Fiji in November 2022 coming to mind, and to a lesser extent the victory in Rome a year ago. comes to mind.

But this is by no means an up-and-coming team. The strong backbone remains and some of the players promoted or called up include Ryan, Conan (who looked sharp from the Marseille bench) and Casey (who reportedly urinated violently a week ago to avoid involvement). Some people may be focusing on strings, such as those who ), or other. Farrell’s selection is a good way to motivate and manage the team.

This Irish side is more experienced than the Italian side, who boast 532 caps in their match-day squad.

The Azzurri have also suffered a double setback with their main ball-carrying back-rowers, Sebastian Negri and Lorenzo Cannone, absent through injury, but Toulouse’s prodigy, who was late to leave ahead of the England squad, has suffered a double setback. They have been given a boost by the return of full-back Ange Capozzo. Conflict due to illness.

There are many hopes for former capped blindside flanker Alessandro Izecole to be back in time, but at the same time it would be great to see Tommaso Menoncello return after leaving the warm-up game here in August in a distraught manner. That’s a good thing, and his performance against England last week underlined his absence in Italy’s crushing defeat. world cup campaign. The fourth change will see Stephen Varney return at scrum-half, while Alessandro Garbisi will be absent.

The young Garbisi scored one of two great tries in the first half against England as Italy attacked sharply from their opponents’ box kicks. With the return of the underrated creativity of Juan Ignacio Brex and Capozzo, they have a weapon to hurt Ireland once again.

But one of the keys to Ireland’s ability to maintain its overwhelming advantage over Italy is actually to maintain respect for the threat it poses. And it permeates from top to bottom, maybe from bottom to top.

“You know me, I’m not disrespectful to anyone,” Farrell said yesterday. “This isn’t about me, but to be honest, this is about us. It’s about the progress we’ve made since last week and the progress we’ve made within our own four walls. The expectations, as I always say, the expectations of understanding how we’re going to kick in every part of our game.

“It’s real, it’s there and it’s clear the level we need to reach, not only on the field but off the field.

“The players are very honest and it would be a mistake to waste a week without making progress.”

It remains to be seen how Ireland will be able to surpass Marseille’s heights when there are such strong favorites (1/100 points, 32 points handicap). But they are always looking for improvement, with Farrell insisting that even the near-perfect fundamentals of last week’s win, lineout and breakdown can sharpen the “load”.

Needless to say, Paul O’Connell is one of the people driving this.

“The breakdown and lineout last week was great, but it could be better,” Farrell said. “It’s possible and we can see the proof of that. Paul gave a review/preview yesterday and our breakdown against France was unfathomable. But his After five minutes, you’ll think we’re trash in our field.

“It’s important to show people what it means to strive to get better because that’s what’s important. It’s been a hard enough week. When you get a win like that, you’re like, ‘Oh no. This is because I think, “I’m not at that level.” I hope our ambition continues to drive us and we continue to aim to be better in any case. ”

Ireland have won 31 of their last 32 games, winning the last 10 games between the two countries and winning the last 17 at home. Additionally, Ireland have won their last 16 Tests at home and are on an unprecedented run of form at the Aviva Stadium.

So anything short of an overwhelming 17th place would be both surprising and disappointing.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan (Leinster); Calvin Nash (Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), James Rowe (Leinster). Jack Crowley (Munster), Craig Casey (Munster). Andrew Porter (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht). Joe McCarthy (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster). Ryan Baird (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster, Captain), Jack Conan (Leinster).

Replacement: Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Jeremy Rahman (Munster), Tom O’Toole (Ulster), Ian Henderson (Ulster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster), Harry – Byrne (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster).

Italy: Ange Capozzo (Stade Toulousan); Lorenzo Pani (Zebre Parma), Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby), Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby), Monti Ioane (Lyon), Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier). ), Stephen Varney (Gloucester): Danilo Fischetti (Zebre Parma), Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby), Pietro Ceccarelli (Perpignan), Niccolo Canone (Benetton Rugby), Federico Luzza (Benetton Rugby) ), Alessandro Izecole (Benetton Rugby), Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby), Michele Ramaro (Benetton Rugby).

Replacement: Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby), Mirco Spagnuolo (Benetton Rugby), Giosue Girocchi (Benetton Rugby), Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma), Ross Vincent (Exeter), Martin Page-Lello (Lyon) ), Tommaso Allan (Perpignan), Federico Mori (Bayonne).

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Assistant referee: Mathieu Reynal (France), Luc Ramos (France)

TMO: Eric Gauzan (France)

Ireland v Italy

Overall match record: Appeared in 36 games. Ireland won 32 games. Italy 4 wins.

Last 5 meetings:

(2020, 6N) Ireland 50 Italy 17 (Aviva Stadium).

(2021 6N) Italy 10 Ireland 48 (Stadio Olimpico).

(2022 6N) Ireland 57 Italy 6 (Aviva Stadium).

(2023, 6N) Italy 20 Ireland 34.

(2023, RWC Preliminary) Ireland 36 Italy 17.

Betting (Paddy Power): Ireland 1/100, draw 50/1, Italy 40/1. Handicap Odds (Italy |+32 points) Even Ireland, 16/1 draw, Even Ireland.

forecast: Ireland won 20-25.

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