Ireland take on Scotland in their second warm-up game for the Rugby World Cup after their 14 point destruction of Wales.
With Noel Reid and Rob Herring already cut and Tommy O’Donnell after dislocating his hip against the Welsh it’s the perfect opportunity for some players to stake a claim and some punters to stake a bet.
Ireland v Scotland, August 15, 17:00, Aviva Stadium
Joe Schmidt has said that he isn’t afraid of his players getting injured during the warm up games. Yes Joe and I’m not going to miss seeing Eva Carneiro running on in Chelsea games. Three players who could do their chances of boarding the plane are Keith Earls, Donnacha Ryan and Eoin Reddan who all put in storming displays against Wales.
It’s good to see Earls and Ryan back after a 348 month absence and to see E taking a breaking from Sloan and Vinnie Chase to come in and do a job for Ireland. Chris Henry did his chances no harm after a solid 15 minutes after getting a harsh yellow against the Welsh.
Ireland’s scrum was absolutely outstanding against Wales, effectively with a reserve scrum out. Jack McGrath made a massive impact and will be pushing Mike Ross and his zimmer frame out the door before too long. Dave Kilcoyne is getting his chance to show why he can deputise at loosehead if Cian Healy is ruled out through injury.
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) August 13, 2015
By far the most interesting inclusion for tomorrow’s game is Jack Conan. Normally a number 8 at Leinster he’ll be slotting in at blindside flanker after Tommy O’Donnell’s unfortunate hip dislocation. After some outstanding displays for the Irish Wolfhounds, Conan can give himself a huge chance at going to the World Cup as back up to Peter O’Mahony.
Ireland are at 10/11 for a -17 handicap, but a win margin of 16-20 at 5/1 seems like the better bet. With the likes of Zebo, Fitzgerald and D’Arcy all looking for seats on the plane you can expect tries galore. Zebo has been praised by Schmidt for his versatility and nearly nicked a try last week. At 7/5 he looks good to add to his six tries so far for Ireland from full-back.
Ian Madigan needs a big performance as, if he’s to cement his position as understudy to Johnny Sexton, his control of the Irish side needs to be perfect. If he plays well and cuts into the Scots’ defence Gordon D’Arcy at 18/1 for first try-scorer could be a fantastic little bet.