Ireland With Backline Injuries

By: Claudia Beckford

Ireland's backline is known for being the most dynamic and creative in the sport of rugby, but now the team is not going through a very good time since there are several players with injuries; situation which forced to develop a brand new plan for the Six Nations game on Saturday versus Wales.

Among the injured we have fullbacks Geordan Murphy and Girvan Dempsey who will not be able to be part of the match and whom are the major leaders from the backs.

Ireland's has had two victories against Italy and Scotland and only one defeat against France; and the team hopes to win the title despite the current situation.

Rob Kearney will move from left side to fill in at fullback and Tommy Bowe who scored two tries against the Scots, switches sides to take Kearney's place on the left. Shane Horgan will play at number 14 for Ireland, which is second in the Six Nations standings with four.

Murphy's non appearance is a major concern for the Irish team as he is the key person in the game and this was clearly seemed when they played Scotland as he was Dempsey's replacement who got injured in his Achilles tendon after a game against Leicester.

"Ireland will be confident about winning the game as historically the fixture has been good to them," Wales winger Mark Jones said. "But we are comfortable with being underdogs so we must weather the storm and grind out a result."

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan called in Paul O'Connell and hooker Rory Best to replace Mick O'Driscoll and Bernard Jackman; as well as Luke Fitzgerald who had been on the bench to fill in the spot left by Horgan

For the next clash, Ireland remains as the favorite specially because they are the home team and the strongest candidate to win the championship. Unfortunately, Ireland won't count with its top class players and are under a bit more pressure.

On the other hand, we have Wales which is coming off from a stunning victory against Italy 47-8; everyone agrees Coach Warren Gatland is the new gear stirring the team since he took last December; he has managed to restore the pace and has made things right for everyone.

"There is a clear distinction between the coaches and the players," inside center Gavin Henson said. "The coaches are pretty strict, which is good. They command respect and players are on the edge. Training is so intense that you are one bad session away from being dropped."

For now, Mike Phillips is replacing Dwayne Peel the only change to the backline while Gatland recalled hooker Huw Bennett, tight head prop Adam Jones and lock Alun-Wyn Jones. This match will provide Gatland a chance to show the Irish team that they were wrong to dismiss him from his roll and promote O'Connell.

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