Keith Wood: At some stage Ireland will have to take risk on youth and players to unlock defences

Ex-Ireland captain gives his take on changes that team might need on Off The Ball

Craig Gilroy, Ireland,

Craig Gilroy ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Keith Wood believes Ireland will have to eventually take a risk on starting with the likes of Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy on a regular basis.

Speaking on Off The Ball ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash against England, the former Ireland captain was reacting to the criticism made by ex-Leinster head coach Matt Williams about the Irish attack on the show earlier this week, and he feels players who can unlock defences will eventually have to be given a regular shot in the starting XV.

"I do think there's more risk to the chance of playing Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and Gilroy and taking a punt on youth a little bit more. Of course there's more of a risk with it but at some stage we're going to have to make that risk because we don't have the likes of Brian O'Driscoll or Paul O'Connell in the team and the guys we have in there, they're working manfully but without a key to unlock defences too often," he said.

Turning his attention to England, Keith feels they are "far more comfortable in that sense of arrogance that we kind of slag off an awful lot but seems to suit them a little bit more".

He also feels that head coach Eddie Jones is "pressing all the right buttons" for England.