Ireland Six Nations Campaign Requires Winning Start

Ireland Six Nations Campaign Requires Winning Start

Ireland Six Nations Campaign Requires Winning Start

New France coach Jacques Brunel has some exciting youngsters in his squad but the Tricolores too have suffered at the cruel hand of injury.

Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray will steer the ship from half-back, with nearly 130 Ireland caps between them, while powerful Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale (21) will make his Six Nations bow in the back-three alongside the equally electric Earls and full-back Rob Kearney, who is set for his 75th start for Ireland.

Leinster second row James Ryan makes his Six Nations bow for Ireland, along with Jacob Stockdale and Bundee Aki.

In the front row, captain Rory Best partners Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong.

Lock Ryan is selected ahead of Devin Toner - who is on the bench - while Josh van der Flier gets the nod in the back row, in place of the injured Sean O'Brien.

"They're considerably better odds than France and Wales to win this season's championship and our punters' activity backs this up with many backing them to claim Six Nations glory at 7/1. I think the sentiment up there is that it's been too much of a yo-yo for Ulster - it's been up and down", said Keith. "

"That's part of the balance and when you speak of World Cup's or sacrificing opportunity or risking results, I don't think they are mutually exclussive.


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Though Schmidt says he's close to making it.

"The last teenage fly-half in the Six Nations was Billy McCombe for Ireland in January 1968", Andy McGeady said, highlighting how rare it is to see a player this young in this position starting a Six Nations game.

Wales hope the Scarlets' winning formula can rub off and help Warren Gatland's side to victory when they welcome a resurgent Scotland to Cardiff for their Six Nations opener on Saturday.

"I think we've seen from the Under-20s that this is a young man with a very, very long future of global rugby ahead of him". We also have the experience of Fergus McFadden who is also a pretty accomplished goal-kicker too.

"It's probably going to be a bit of a surprise for them, but they are used to big games, and they performed well in the autumn series".

Scotland‚ dark horses to go on and win the championships‚ beat Wales at Murrayfield a year ago and don't bet against them winning away from home this time.

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