Former Leinster and Connacht player Andy Dunne was on Wednesday’s OTB AM and expressed concern about Ireland’s line-out ahead of the RWC.
Schmidt’s side has struggled in recent times at the set-piece and Dunne believes it's a major weakness that could be exploited by the Scots this Sunday.
“Unfortunately in the last few weeks, there’s not been enough consistency there to suggest that they’re going to go in confident against Scotland.
“If I was [Gregor] Townsend I would massively go after the Irish line-out. With the absence of Toner and that selection there’s massive pressure on managers and players alike to deliver,” Dunne explained.
The malfunctioning line-out massively impacted Ireland’s ability to set up attacking structures during their disappointing Six Nations campaign.
The former fly-half is afraid the same issues may crop up again for Joe Schmidt’s side in the World Cup.
“I understand from their own analysis point of view they’ve emphasised that scrummaging lock position.
“I mean I’m not a tighthead prop and I’ve never had Devin Toner scrummage behind me.
“But I can’t imagine there’s a massive difference between what he can do and what Jean Kleyn can do,” Dunne commented.
The Scots’ time to strike
Gregor Townsend’s men haven’t been particularly impressive of late, with a fifth-place finish in this year’s Six Nations causing many pundits to dismiss them as real contenders.
While Dunne didn’t tip Scotland to go far in the World Cup he did feel that they could have the potential to pull off an upset against Ireland.
“There’s a part of me that feels they’re waiting in the long grass this week.
“They don’t seem to have the millstone around their neck like we do when it comes to World Cup performances.
“The other thing that strikes me is that they seem like a happy, relaxed camp… There seems to be a little edge and tension of what’s coming out of the Ireland camp,” Dunne said.
The two sides meet in Yokohama this Sunday at 8.45am Irish time as both sides look to get their World Cup campaigns off to a winning start.