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Josh Van Der Flier Was Given Out To For Practicing Skill That Was Vital To Scotland Win

Josh Van Der Flier Was Given Out To For Practicing Skill That Was Vital To Scotland Win
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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The nature of Ireland's win over Scotland yesterday would have been hugely satisfying for Andy Farrell and his coaching staff.

While they were seen as favourites for the game, it was expected that the Scots would provide a stern test at Murrayfield. The task was made all the more difficult with the number of injuries the team sustained over the course of the game.

Three members of Ireland's pack were forced off during the course of the first half hour or so. As well as that, replacement hooker Ronan Kelleher also had to be substituted early in the second half.

As a result, the team was left in a rather difficult position in both scrum and line-outs. Cian Healy filled the position at scrum time, while Josh van der Flier delivered the ball in the line-out. It was an unfamiliar role for both players, but they filled them admirably.

Josh van der Flier practiced line-out throws in the past


Josh van der Flier has played as a backrow for his entire career, even stretching back to his time at youth level. As a result, line-out throws have not exactly been a priority for him over the last decade or more.

Despite this, he has messed around with the process in the past.

Speaking after yesterday's game, the Leinster player recalled that he used to get told off for messing around with hooker throws in his younger days. He also revealed that Ireland had briefly worked on this contingency plan in the event that a scenario such as the one yesterday presented itself (h/t RTÉ):


When I was in the academy I used to get given out to for messing about in the gym, doing hooker throws.

But it's something we've talked about and practiced the odd time because a hooker can get yellow carded, or rarely now that you get two injuries like that, but it's something we talk about and we have a rough plan if it happens...

I've played seven for, it must be 15 years since playing in school, and that's never actually happened.

There have been times where I've been close to throwing so no better place to do it than in Murrayfield with a packed house.

It felt alright, felt fine. The chat out there was incredibly calm. James Ryan was calling the lineout and he was very relaxed. He was asking what I was comfortable with or whatever. So it was good...

It spun! It spun nicely. I was chatting to the other hookers after the game and they said, 'Whatever you do, you always blame the jumper and the lifter.' So I might go with that tactic this week.

It's unlikely that Josh van der Flier will be asked to fill those role again anytime soon, but it's good to know that he has it in his locker.

The fact that Ireland had prepared for this scenario tells you all you need to know about the level of preparation that has contributed to their fantastic run of form over the last couple of years.

SEE ALSO: Cheeky Johnny Sexton Comment To Luke Pearce Caught On Ref Mic During Scotland Game

johnny sexton ref mic ireland scotland

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