Round-up: Irish want towering Lock Devin Toner to disrupt Australia


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The Independent Online

Ireland are looking to snuff out Australia in Dublin today at the very first phase – by dismantling their line-out.

Their forwards coach John Plumtree believes the Wallabies base their attacking platform around first-phase stability and he has called on Devin Toner, the lock who stands an inch shy of 7ft tall in his socks, to steal possession at the set piece.

Plumtree said: “Dev obviously enjoys winning ball, but a big part of his role is also stealing ball. We’ve put him into positions where we’ve given him an opportunity to do that.”

He is also backing Ireland totems Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll to relish their international “twilight”. “They are both very experienced players, they help out others around them. Paul’s been outstanding this week and so has Brian. They both look forward to this type of challenge.”

Meanwhile, stand-in Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw insists he has no plans to take the role from regular captain Kelly Brown on permanently.

Laidlaw will lead out the side for tomorrow’s Test with South Africa, but said: “As for whether I’d like the role permanently, Kelly is the current captain and I’m pretty laid back about the situation, so we will just see how it goes.”