Ireland take on Scotland today in Ireland's final fixture of the 2022 Six Nations. Kick-off is at 16:45, following Wales vs Italy and preceding England and France’s crunch match.
Ireland are still very much in the championship, although they need England to do them a favour in the Stade de France. While France are still strong favourites for that game, Ireland’s home fixture against the Scots should be more straightforward.
Ex-Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy sat down with us to discuss Ireland’s game and tell us why he thinks Ireland should have too much for Gregor Townsend’s side.
“With the upmost respect to the Scotland team that’s coming, it’s not the best version of itself, and that’s an unknown quantity and you never know what that might bring.
"I don’t see this Irish team falling prey to that. The way they’re playing is kind of independent of who the opposition is.
“They love to stamp their game on the match. So unless Scotland are able to disrupt primary possession. So are they able to get in the scrum the way England were, are they able to disrupt it in the same fashion the French were.
“If they’re not able to do that and Ireland are able to get their primary possession, and playable, win it and it’s playable ball, I would expect Ireland to deliver a fairly similar performance that they have done in the Championship. So I would expect Ireland to be able to cut loose.”
Comparison to the final weekend of the 2015 Six Nations are obvious but also very apt. Ireland won the Six Nations title that year on an incredible day of Six Nations rugby.
The fixtures for the final weekend of this year’s edition of the tournament are the same as 2015, where Ireland managed a 40-10 win over Scotland, which gave them a large enough points difference to take the crown.
On that day, Ireland needed a big result from France to prevent England from winning the Championship. The shoe is on the other foot today. It will take an England performance for the ages to stop France, but stranger things have happened.