Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Six Nations

Scott Johnson © Gallo Images

Johnson wary of new-look Ireland



Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson has promised his side will not be taken unawares by a much-changed Ireland team in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Ireland have been forced into making five changes as a result of injuries and the suspension of prop Cian Healy following a bruising 12-6 defeat by leaders England in Dublin last time out.

The most eye-catching decision by Ireland coach Declan Kidney has been to give a debut to Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson rather than recall Ronan O'Gara, Ireland's most-capped player, in place of the injured Jonathan Sexton.

Also making his test debut this weekend will be Jackson's fellow Ulsterman Luke Marshall, in at inside centre after the experienced Gordon D'Arcy was ruled out with a foot injury.

Elsewhere in the backs, left wing Simon Zebo's tournament-ending foot injury led to a recall for utility back Keith Earls.

Meanwhile, the pack showed two changes, with Tom Court replacing Healy after the loosehead prop was suspended for stamping on England's Dan Cole and experienced second row Donncha O'Callaghan coming in for Mike McCarthy, out with a knee injury.

By contrast Australian coach Johnson, who oversaw a 34-10 win over Italy in the second round that left Scotland second in the standings, has made just one change with prop Geoff Cross replacing Euan Murray because the latter's religious convictions mean he won't play on Sundays.

Johnson, promoted from within the Scotland set-up to his caretaker post after coach Andy Robinson resigned as head coach following the defeat by Tonga in November, was adamant all of Ireland's newcomers were worthy of their places.

"We know the players coming in," Johnson said Wednesday. "Their form regionally has been superb and these kids are good players.

"Sometimes what happens is that (people) expect the 'known names' to be a massive, massive loss. But what (people) probably don't know is the 'no names' and how good they are."

The Irish have won their last five Championship matches in Edinburgh but victory over Italy has given Scotland, last season's wooden spoonists, a massive confidence boost.

However, Johnson tried to put the victory in context by saying: "We have got the ability and potential in this side to hurt some teams but we have got to do it consistently. It was one win but let's not get carried away with it."

Meanwhile Johnson insisted he'd no problems with Murray following in the footsteps of the late Scotland international and Olympic champion Eric Liddell in refusing to play on a Sunday.

"I can understand what Euan is saying and it's his decision. We move on and make ours. We get on with it.

"It's not a complicated situation. It's black and white for me.

"As for Geoff, well he's got to scrum - that's what he has been picked for. He's been picked because we deem him strong and that he has shown that when he has played international rugby, he can hold up a scrum."

Shop

SA rugby Annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.00
Victor - My Journey
As the most capped Springbok ever, Victor Matfield is a national hero who transcends rugby provincialism and has fans across the world
R198.44
The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R110.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

The Carling Black Label Cup - Player Reveal - Studio Show
Badminton - Mixed Teams Group Play Stage Day 1
Squash - Men's/women's Round Of 32
Thu, 24 Jul @ 07:00

Sports Talk



Brendan Venter
A clash of contrasts
Prior to our 1995 World Cup-winning campaign, the late Kitch Christie told us during one particular...

Tony Johnson
Sharks still have reason to be optimistic
After last week's stats-laden dispatch, I thought I might start this week by lobbing a few more at...

Gavin Rich
Rugby that will bring fans back
All the talk about how finals rugby is played during the course of last week might have given the...

Brenden Nel
It will be worse before it gets better
Nick Mallett was on point on Saturday night after the brutal Stormers-Sharks game when he laid it...

Super Wrap
It's a Wrap, and a Super one at that
Only one side in a six-team playoff series and the rest of our teams comfortably in the bottom half...