Dave Kilcoyne in action against Fiji. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
proper-tunity knocks

Ireland looking to land 'Killer' blow on Scots to salvage 6 Nations bid

Munster prop Dave Kilcoyne is expected to start at tighthead prop in Murrayfield with Tom Court as back-up.

THE BAN MAY be three weeks or four but there is no arguing the fact that Cian Healy will miss next weekend’s Six Nations clash with Scotland.

Given the combative nature of the Six Nations – five games in seven weeks – there is a chance that Dave Kilcoyne could have made his first start against the Scots but, for his piece of mind at least, the wait and wonder is over.

Barring a Tom Court hat-trick, with nine penalties won on the scrum, against Zebre, the Kilcoyne will start in the No. 1 jersey.

The Munster loosehead will get the chance to show Irish supporters what comes so naturally at Thomond Park, and to a lesser degree away from home, next Sunday.

Perhaps Rob Penney’s bonus point-infused claims that Kilcoyne could make the Lions squad will be refiled from ‘L’ [ludicrously ambitious] to ‘P’ [perfectly plausible].

Axel backs Killer

With Mike McCarthy ruled out of the Scotland encounter and Donncha O’Callaghan expected to fill in, the Irish front five may be closer to Ireland circa forever – something that must please Anthony Foley.

Following cameo coaching stints Axel has a hands-on role as Ireland defence coach for this campaign. The former Ireland front-row likes what he sees in Kilcoyne.

He told, “Like all young players, he brings a lot of vigour and enthusiasm to what he does.

He has come on leaps and bounds scrummaging, we’ve all see that. He’s a very aggressive ball carrier and defender around the pitch.”

Mike Ross, who is likely to pack down in the front row with Kilcoyne, watched the Scotland victory over Italy with great interest and believes Ireland’s front three will have a tough slog in Edinburgh.

He said, “I saw that they took them back for a little walk in front of their own posts. You don’t see that happen too often.”

Ross will be hoping that his young pack-mate will be able to show all the brutish abilities that have earned him the nickname ‘Killer’.

Declan Kidney: We were told that Cian Healy is suspended this weekend

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