Luke Fitzgerald's lowdown on Ireland v Scotland
by Luke Fitzgerald on February 1st, 2017

In the first of a series of three guest blog posts covering each of Ireland's away games in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations, Luke Fitzgerald gives his lowdown on Ireland v Scotland. 

The 2017 RBS 6 Nations is almost upon us and I can’t wait for the action to get underway. Here are my five things to watch out for in this year’s tournament.

1. The Irish player to watch out for

Garry Ringrose. He’s not an unknown quantity, we saw that in the autumn internationals when he was superb against Australia. He has been superb for Leinster all season. Internationally, there isn’t as much space but with the attributes he has, he could be the X Factor for Ireland. It will be interesting to see if he can stake a claim for the 13 spot with Jared Payne gone. I think he can.
2. Ireland’s chances

I think we’ve got a great chance this year – I’m touting us for the win. We have England and France at home who are traditionally two of the harder teams.  We have Joe Schmidt as well, who is the best coach in the competition. Ireland are my favourites for the Six Nations.

3. Dark horses

France, for me. They had a good autumn and I think Guy Noves has something there. I think they are still a little bit behind organisationally but they have so much talent and can upset any team on their day.

4. Possible controversy

The new tackles laws. Hopefully it won’t have a big bearing on games but I think it will. It is one of the reasons why I think Ireland are well placed because you have to be really disciplined and it is something that Joe Schmidt is really, really hard on. I hope there isn’t a big yellow card or red card in a crucial game but I think it will have a bearing unfortunately.

5. Can Ireland beat England?
The old foe, they’re coming over to the Aviva on March 18, the day after Paddy’s Day. It looks like a Grand Slam decider if both teams play to their potential. Eddie Jones has tapped into something and they have been unbeaten under him. I think Ireland can overcome them in the Aviva Stadium – they’ve all the tools to do it. We’ve got the team, we’ve got the coach and if the Aviva Stadium can get behind the team on the day, I’m backing the boys to get the win.

Watch Luke Fitzgerald’s RBS 6 Nations analysis on The Left Wing at Independent.ie.



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