After a slow start against the USA on Sunday, the Irish team will be hoping to perform to a much higher level this Saturday when Ireland face the Wallabies, the group favourites, in what is a crucial game in the Pool C in the qualifying process.
Despite an unconvincing 22-10 win over the Americans, and poor results leading up to the World Cup, there remains a quiet confidence within the Irish camp that a result can be obtained. Assuming the underdog role will most likely suit the Irish team as they head into this encounter with the Australians who are coming off the back of beating Italy 32-6.
Thankfully there were no major injuries or knocks from the USA match and so the Irish team will be more or less at the same strength as when they arrived in New Zealand. The squad also welcomes back three key players from injury in Rob Kearney (knee and groin injuries), Cian Healy (eye injury) and Sean O’ Brien (knee injuries). The only injury concern is Jerry Flannery who is a doubt as he has been struggling with calf injuries in recent times. He will face a late fitness test to assess whether he will be able to participate in this crunch fixture.
Brian O’ Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy pair up in the centre roles for the 45th time, which will break the world record for the length of a partnership in the centre and they will be overtaking the previous record from England’s Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott.
Here at The Physio Company we would like to wish everyone in the Irish camp the best of luck in the coming days and indeed on Saturday when we face the challenge of the Wallabies. Hopefully the team can stay injury free and can prepare well prior to this next test. Keep a look out for more of The Physio Company’s Rugby World Cup posts!