Dave Kilcoyne: Ireland are frothing at the mouth to tackle Scotland at World Cup

Ireland’s progression to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals is not yet assured.

Ed Elliot
Saturday 30 September 2023 09:47 BST
Dave Kilcoyne is playing at his second Rugby World Cup (Adam Davy/PA)
Dave Kilcoyne is playing at his second Rugby World Cup (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

Prop Dave Kilcoyne believes Ireland’s players are “frothing at the mouth” to face Scotland and insists there is no sense of self-satisfaction following a euphoric win over South Africa.

Andy Farrell’s men underlined their status as Test rugby’s top-ranked nation by defeating the reigning champions 13-8 last weekend in Paris.

But progression to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals is not yet assured moving towards next Saturday’s return to Stade de France for a pivotal showdown with the Scots.

Munster loosehead Kilcoyne believes a memorable evening against the Springboks was “parked” during some well-earned time off as attention quickly shifted to the team’s final Pool B fixture.

“Lads went away and spent a bit of downtime and were itching to get back in, bouncing, and it’s all eyes on Scotland now,” he said.

“That game is parked, we’ve a couple of massive learnings from it and we definitely won’t be falling in love with ourselves.

“Paulie (forwards coach Paul O’Connell) had a few tips for us in areas we were deficient in and we were out there (in training) making sure we had them right for Scotland.

“In a competition like this you’ve got to keep learning with every game and you’ve got to keep getting better.

“Next week poses a massive challenge to us again so we’ve got to prepare as best we can for that.

“Everyone’s frothing at the mouth to be involved.”

Kilcoyne is enjoying his second World Cup, having overcome the scare of suffering a hamstring tear during last month’s training camp in Portugal.

The 34-year-old remained in the French capital with other members of the squad to enjoy a couple of days off after the South Africa match before travelling back to camp in Tours ahead of schedule.

Kilcoyne feels the current Ireland setup is the best he has been involved in and praised the impact of head coach Andy Farrell.

“I’m loving it over here, you read people writing about the incredible environment Faz (Farrell) has created for the players,” said Kilcoyne.

“And I don’t say it for the sake of saying it, but I think his emotional intelligence is through the roof.

“You look at that South Africa game, such a big occasion physically and mentally fatiguing and to have the foresight to give the lads two days’ break, he probably knew how mentally and physically fatiguing that game was going to be for the whole country.

“I’m not going to be saying about other coaching environments but this is definitely the best Ireland environment I’ve ever been involved in since I’ve been playing, 100 per cent.

“When there’s great camaraderie in the squad, you love being around it.”

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