Eagles pose a towering threat to Irish

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Rugby Union

Ireland continue their process of rehabilitation under their coach, Murray Kidd, when they take on the American Eagles in Atlanta today.

The United States, fresh from a surprise win over Canada - their first victory on Canadian soil - go into the match with a degree of confidence. They stretched Ireland in their last meeting at Lansdowne Road, before the home side won 26-15. Today they introduce two giant second-row forwards in a quest to put pressure on the Irish. Joe Risore and Luke Gross, both measuring 6ft 9in, will pose a huge threat.

After a comprehensive victory over Fiji in their last match, Ireland will be in confident mood themselves, though. The introduction of the New Zealander Kidd as coach and the former All Black John Mitchell as assistant has generated an enthusiasm unrivalled in recent years in the Irish camp.

Three changes have been made from the team which beat Fiji. In come the New Zealand-born centre Kurt McQuilkin, the stand-off Eric Elwood and Victor Costello, at blind-side flanker.