Joe Schmidt has warned Ireland that they will have to go into their game with Italy expecting the unexpected.
The Ireland transport for their game at Murrayfield on Saturday was 15 minutes late according to The Guardian, which shook the players down to the rushed warm up according to Schmidt.
He has gone on to say that; “I have challenged them for a better start in Italy,” after their poor display in Scotland which made them seem like almost a completely different side to the outstanding one which beat the All Blacks in November.
The Irishman has also backed the ability of his side, but has said that they have to improve their mentality if they want to strive for victory, as he went on to blame the rushed warm up for creating; “a bit of anxiety” in the dressing room prior to the game.
Ireland play Italy this weekend looking to get their first win of the tournament. Do you think Schmidt’s side will be able to improve on their below par performance last week?
Here’s what the sides looks like:
Starting XV: R Kearney (Leinster); K Earls (Munster), G Ringrose, R Henshaw (both Leinster), S Zebo (Munster); P Jackson (Ulster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster, capt), T Furlong (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), D Toner (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), S O’Brien, J Heaslip (both Leinster).
Replacements: N Scannell (Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), J Ryan (Munster), U Dillane (Connacht), J Van der Flier (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), I Keatley (Munster), C Gilroy (Ulster).
Starting XV: Edoardo Padovani, Angelo Esposito, Tommaso Benvenuti, Luke Mclean, Giovanbattista Venditti, Carlo Canna, Edoardo Gori, Sergio Parisse, Simone Favaro, Maxime Mbanda, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Marco Fuser, Lorenzo Cittadini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: Ornel Gega, Sami Panico, Dario Chistolini, George Biagi, Abraham Steyn, Giorgio Bronzini, Tommaso Allan, Michele Campagnaro.