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Rugby-Scotland's Dell expects physical backlash from stung Ireland

Updated: 05-02-2019 15:09 IST
Rugby-Scotland's Dell expects physical backlash from stung Ireland

Scotland prop Allan Dell expects a physical backlash this weekend from Ireland, who will be seeking to restore lost pride after beginning their Six Nations title defence on a losing note on Saturday. Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday, a week after they made a winning start to their campaign by beating Italy 33-20 while Ireland lost 32-20 to England in Dublin.

"They were outmuscled," said the 26-year-old Dell of Ireland’s unexpected home loss. "What normally tends to happens from experience is that if you have been outmuscled at the weekend the emphasis in the build-up to the next game is that you know you can’t have that happening again.

"You would be embarrassed and licking your wounds from that. There will be an aftershock after what England did to Ireland," he told reporters as Scotland began their build-up to the match. Scotland were always expecting a tough game, regardless of the Irish setback, Dell said.

"Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Rory Best are all very good scrummagers, very disciplined," he said. “They know when to have a crack, they know when to manipulate a scrum and move players, so it’s going to be a tough thing. Set-piece is going to be a major part of the game I feel.”

Scotland have suffered a setback with prop WP Nel likely to miss the game because of a calf injury, even though he remains with the squad. "Hopefully we won’t miss WP too much. I’m sure he’ll be in giving us his knowledge in the next few days," Dell said.

Simon Berghan is likely to take his place with Jonny Gray to return from injury in the second row. Scotland will name their team on Thursday. On the bigger prize ahead, Dell said: "If you want to win the Six Nations you need to win all the games.

"We wouldn’t approach the game in any another way, just wanting to win it. Winning the first game augurs well but Six Nations is a long tournament." (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)