Dan Tuohy in the thick of an Ireland scrum. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
November Tests

Be like Mike: Tuohy ready to follow the lead of magnificent McCarthy

The Ulster lock is grateful to be preparing for a game against a side outside the world’s top two.

DAN TUOHY IS not the only Irish player looking forward to the arrival of Fiji into the country.

The Ulster lock has yet to win a game for the senior side and – be it a friendly, ‘A’ or Wolfhounds international – a game at Thomond Park against an inexperienced Fijian side represents the chance to get off the mark.

When he last spoke to us, on Ireland’s tour to New Zealand, Tuohy spoke about going out ‘all guns blazing’ against the All Blacks in Hamilton.

The only thing to get blazed that night, back in June, was the Irish defence so the second-row could be forgiven if he exacts some punishment on a Fiji team soundly beaten by England at the weekend.

“Four of my five caps have been against the All Blacks,” Tuohy told ”I don’t go for the easy ones – the other was against Australia.

It is tough. [New Zealand] are a fantastic side and I would have loved to have been part of that side that won the second Test.

“It was disappointing as tours are based on results but, personally speaking, the three starts were good.”

Here comes the cheese

With Donnacha Ryan and Mike McCarthy leaving it all out on the pitch at the Aviva on Saturday, Tuohy and the players that did not start the defeat to South Africa trained at Carton House today and some players were tasked with playing the Pacific Island brand of rugby.

Tuohy chats to the media at Carton House. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

“[Fiji] are very off the cuff,” he said. “I think the guys that ran against us today enjoyed playing as Fiji because they don’t often get the chance to chuck the ball around as much as they did [today]. It was a bit of Sevens today.” Tuohy added:

It’s very much chalk and cheese really. They’re extremely loose, unstructured, massive hits going on all over the place. Great ball carriers. Not a great deal with regard for any structure in their game.

Sometimes people look to take Fiji on at their own game but if you try that, you could come unstuck.

The pecking order

Asked if McCarthy’s man-of-the-match performance against the Springboks on Saturday has given him the edge, Tuohy was honest in his assessment.

“Well Mike was selected ahead of me so I guess he is ahead of me,” he said.

Then he had a great game, which is just one of those things.” Tuohy added:

For me to do Mike justice is to have another good game against Fiji, push him on. The competition will push me on, push him on and will be better for Ireland.

“Donnacha Ryan also played well. People go on about there being no competition in the second row but I think there is.”

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