Breaking: Joey Carbery has been ruled out of the Russia game with irritation to his ankle injury. Conor Murray will take his place on the bench as scrum-half cover.
Alan Quinlan was on Thursday’s OTB AM and gave his predictions for today’s match between Ireland and Russia.
The former Munster man expects an easy win for Schmidt’s side but admits that the Japan loss has shaken his confidence.
“I’m a bit of a broken man myself after last Saturday… It’s created uncertainty and doubt in me.
“If we’d beaten Japan I’d say we beat [Russia] by 50 today. It’ll be easy-peasy. But look, a 30 or 40-point win is the minimum requirement,” Quinlan said.
Ireland are playing in Kobe city today and the conditions will not be easy as other teams have experienced already.
“It’s lashing rain, so we’ll be glad the roof is closed today. Conditions are going to be very difficult either way with the heat, humidity and the slippy ball.
“There were 35 turnovers in the England - USA game in the first game played here. Scotland - Samoa, 30 turnovers.
“It’s going to be like a sauna in there so it’s going to be very hot and sticky,” Quinlan commented.
The Russians are massive underdogs for the clash but showed some impressive form in the first half of their games against Japan and Samoa.
While they did fade in the second half and fall to heavy defeats in the end, they will be looking to bring that same intensity that saw their opponents initially struggle.
“They will come out initially and try to rattle Ireland. Their pack is very, very big. They’re physical guys.
“The danger for Ireland is that they try to play too much early on and try to go for scores.
“If they drop a pass or a big tackle comes in or there’s a mistake then the nerves start settling in with Ireland and Russia will get a little bit of confidence after that,” Quinlan said.
It’s not long until kick-off now as Ireland take on Russia at 11.15am Irish time at the Kobe Misaki Stadium.
A win today certainly won’t heal all the wounds of the Japanese defeat but will hopefully raise the confidence of the side for the bigger games to come.