Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Scotland's forward pack allows them to be competitive with Ireland

Fiona Hayes explains that Scotland are a well-rounded team this year and they will threaten Ireland.

Former Ireland rugby player and Grand Slam winner Fiona Hayes expects big things from Scotland.

Fiona Hayes joined Wednesday Night Rugby to preview Ireland and Scotland on Sunday.

Scotland face Ireland for the Triple Crown, but Ireland are in position to win a Grand Slam with two games left. It's the biggest game of the tournament after Ireland-France from Round 2. And since Ireland-France was a unique occasion between the top two-ranked teams in the world, this would be the biggest game of the tournament in any other season.

France beat Scotland in Paris two weeks ago. But it wasn't a convincing victory. In fact, Scotland likely felt better after the game than France did. As such, Scotland enters this game on a high.

Ireland will need to be at their best to beat Scotland in Murrayfield. Fiona Hayes explains that this is the best Scotland team of this century.

"They're a joy to watch," Hayes began.

"I think Joe at the minute I'm really enjoying watching them. They obviously lost over in France, but just I suppose I know what kind of magic Finn Russell can bring. When he brings that magic he really is unbelievable. He's got the most carries so far in the tournament, I believe he's up around 45."

Russell has always been a talismanic player for club and country, but he hasn't always been consistent. And more importantly, he hasn't always had the supporting cast to allow him to prosper. Gregor Townsend has built that team around him to be a real contender at the highest level.

Scotland can win games in different ways now.

"I'm very, very impressed with the pack. The cohesion. Richie Gray [has won] 17 lineouts, he's involved in a lot of stuff. He's getting his hands on the ball. Fagerson is another player who has really impressed me.

"They just have really good players all around the park. But what is impressing me is their cohesion together."

Scotland won't step aside for Ireland on Sunday, despite their recent record against each other.

Jack Conan has done nothing wrong.


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