By Ed Elliot, PA
Andy Farrell says Ireland needs to develop a clinical edge to become a « world class » team after having had the worst start to a Guinness Six Nations campaign.
The Irish are looking to save some pride in the competition after disappointing defeats to Wales and France.
Head coach Farrell insists the situation is far from dire and hopes his side will play on Saturday against the perennial winner of the wooden spoon Italy can take a big step forward.
#TeamOfUs 7 changes. 50. Cap for @henshawrob & 2 new caps on the bench. Here are the details of the Irish team set to play against Italy (this time with the right graphics). #ShoulderToShoulder #ITAvIRE #GuinnessSixNationshttps: //t.co/5fyv51kcXq pic.twitter.com/4Bbnu3vRNY
« There’s quite a lot in our game, but it comes down to having a clinical advantage at this level, entirely up, « he said.
» The ultimate clinical advantage is always the missing ingredient of a team that wants to be world class. That’s why we strive for that and hope we can take a leap in that direction this weekend. » / p>
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Ireland’s only championship attempts so far have come from forwards Tadhg Beirne and Ronan Kelleher, with Farrell claiming a bigger spark off his back after losing to Les Bleus.
Irish head coach Andy Farrell (left) has called back captain Johnny Sexton (right) after a head injury (Adam Davy / PA).
Opponents Italy have lost 29 consecutive Six Nations games from 2015 and are the only other team to have won this year’s tournament.
Farrell made seven changes for the trip to Rome, including the Recall of Skipper Johnny Sexton and Vice-Captain James Ryan after head injuries.
The Englishman believes his squad has world-class players, but believes that teamwork is essential to achieve that quality.
« Man have to be a team-first player, and if you’re a team-first player like our guys are and you work together, you get world-class players. And here we are right now, « said Farrell.
» Of course we have world class players in our group, but the stronger we are as a unit, the more the individuals will come to the fore. «
Conor Murray is the only injured person on Farrell’s roster, meaning Jamison Gibson-Park retains the scrum half role. Uncovered Munster number nine Craig Casey is hoping to make his test debut from the bench.
The return of 35-year-old Sexton to half the fly means Billy Burns is back among the substitutes and Ross Byrne full With question marks about Sexton’s ability to play through to the 2023 World Cup, Farrell needs suitable alternatives for the number 10 jersey.
Joey Carbery, who has been out since January 2020 due to a number of injury problems Competition was named on the bench of his province for the Guinness PRO14 duel with Cardiff on Friday.
Farrell is excited about the news but wants to be patient with the talented 25-year-old, who is making 22 caps.
« I’m really excited about Joey. I know firsthand what he’s been doing in the past Has gone through years and he’s worked so hard to get back and on a few occasions it hasn’t happened to him, « Farrell said.
» We have to be careful giving Joey the time. He’s already On the road for so long, he desperately wants to get back in there to do well.
« If you give him the space and time let him play a series of games, I’m sure Joey will come back for the To be the player we all know will be. «
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