Andy Farrell wants Ireland players to seize on opportunities

Ireland will be locking horns Romania in World Cup opener
Ireland will be locking horns Romania in World Cup opener

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has urged his players to seize on the opportunities in the upcoming Rugby World Cup campaign.

Farrell has confirmed the matchday squad for the tournament opener against Romania to be played this weekend with skipper Johnny Sexton returning back following a suspension.

Being the top ranked side and the winner of the Grand Slam in the Six Nations earlier in the year, Ireland are amongst the favourites to win the tournament but Farrell citing the warm-up game against Samoa where they had a narrow victory wants his players to make an impact.

"I said to you in the Samoa week going to Biarritz, the reason we went there is that there’s a lot of distraction that goes on, certainly when you’re in a hotel that’s on the beach," Farrell remarked.

"Some people handled that brilliantly, some people didn’t.

"Learning from those experiences is pretty important because you don’t get second chances after this in World Cups.

"You have to wait four more years – if you’re lucky enough. Understanding what it’s all about and getting down to business is where we’re at at this stage."

Ireland and Romania have met each other on three occasions with the Irish side registering wins of 44-14, 45-17 and 44-10 but Farrell is not willing to take his opposition lightly.

"What you have to do is make sure you play the game how you know it should be played, with the respect it needs to be played in," he said.

"The game is going to throw up all sorts of different permutations, like any other game. We’ve got to be on point to be able to adapt and see the pictures in front of us.

"The game’s all about opportunities, creating opportunities, whether that be set-piece, your attack, your defence, the breakdown, etc.

"The more opportunities we create, we’ve got to be composed enough to make sure we capitalise on that, like any other game."


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