Ireland v Scotland Six Nations, Sat 17:00
Ahead of captaining Ireland against Scotland in the Six Nations this weekend, Ulster hooker Rory Best has described the honour as ‘something you dream of’ when trying to make a career in rugby, as Paddy Power make Declan Kidney’s side overwhelming odds on favourites for victory, after falling just short of beating France in Paris last week.
Normal skipper Paul O’Connell is injured, so Best is ready to step in for Saturday evening’s match at the Aviva Stadium as Ireland look for their second victory of the campaign.
Speaking about the prospect of leading the team out, Best said: “It’s something growing up that you dream of. It’s very unfortunate what has happened to Paulie but I was obviously very honoured when asked me to captain the side.”
“We know we’ll have to be on the money against Scotland. It will be a massive challenge for our defence.”
In other team news for Ireland, flanker Sean O’Brian – who has a skin infection on his foot – will be replaced by Peter O’Mahony, while Eoin Reddan is set to replace the injured Conor Murray at scrum-half.
As for Scotland, they have lost both of their games so far in the 2012 Six Nations and will be desperate for a victory this weekend. It will of course be tough, but Scotland did win in Ireland last year so they know they are capable of an upset.
Recalling this victory, Scotland centre Graeme Morrison said: “We’d not won going into that game, very much the underdogs, but we went and put on a brilliant performance against a very strong Irish team.”
“That’s what it’s going to take this week as well. I’ve got full belief in the whole squad of 22 guys. I firmly believe they all do as well. It’s just putting together all the pieces into one performance.”
Scotland have won plaudits for their style of play this year of course, but no points have been achieved and coach Andy Robinson would love something to show for working hard on the team’s approach.
Whether Ireland pick up their second victory of the 2012 Six Nations or Scotland manage to pull off a shock win remains to be seen.
Declan Kidney’s side were unlucky last week not to come away with victory in Paris against the French, but despite flying out of the blocks early on, they let Phillipe Saint-Andre’s side back in and there’s no doubt the Irish will want to keep a high tempo for the full 80 minutes.
You can find out from 5pm on Saturday evening.