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Farrell impressed by Ringrose and Carbery's comfort in Ireland set-up

The 21-year-old Leinster duo are set to make their Test debuts against the All Blacks.

Murray Kinsella reports from Chicago

JUST AS MENTION is made of the fact that he’s been involved in a coaching staff that beat the All Blacks, Andy Farrell interjects.

“I’ve also been involved with a coaching staff that’s lost to the All Blacks many times as well, but anyway…”

The Ireland assistant coach has a smile on his face as he cuts in. While that achievement with England in 2012, when they beat New Zealand 38-21 in Twickenham, must rank among Farrell’s proudest moments as a coach, he says it’s meaningless this week.

Craig Gilroy, Rob Kearney and Devin Toner Craig Gilroy, Rob Kearney and Devin Toner take a walk in Chicago. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ireland are a different squad and they’re facing a completely different All Blacks set-up. Perhaps the only thing that will be relevant is the mindset Ireland must bring into the contest at Soldier Field.

“You’ve got to believe,” says Farrell. “You’ve got to believe in your plan, you’ve got to commit to it 100% and you’ve got to go out there and have a good old shake of it. There’s no point coming over here and just sitting back and going along for the occasion.

“We’ve got lads that train every day to get better and train to be the best that they can be so they can perform on a big stage, and it doesn’t really get any bigger than playing the All Blacks in Chicago.

“The lads are very excited but at the same time they’re relaxed at this moment in time because they know there’s a hell of a lot of work to do to get to Saturday.”

The versatility and rounded nature of New Zealand’s attack make the preparation all the more difficult, with Farrell simply stating that Ireland will worry more about what they’re going to bring to the party this weekend.

All 27 players in the squad are fully fit, including out-half Johnny Sexton, with the fresher faces in the group understandably bringing energy.

Garry Ringrose has had involvement with Ireland in recent years, learning the ropes gradually, but now looks certain to make his debut on Saturday against the All Blacks.

Farrell has been impressed by the 21-year-old’s impact on the Ireland squad.

“He’s been playing well hasn’t he? His form is great and we’ve got a talent there,” says Farrell. “He’s on form so he’s confident. Again, you can only watch them at the weekend and judge them how you see them train day to day.


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Joey Carbery and Garry Ringrose Carbery and Ringrose have impressed in Ireland camp. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We all know that international rugby training is a lot more intense because of the quality of player. They’ve all come together and he’s thriving in the environment.

“You notice him every session. That means he’s comfortable and that means he’s wanted to push on forward for a place. ”

While Ringrose may make his debut in the starting XV, his Leinster team-mate Joey Carbery is set to feature on the Ireland bench – potentially making his own debut after a meteoric rise in the last year.

The 21-year-old Clontarf man, formerly of Athy RFC, has made an impression on the Ireland coaching staff since joining the international set-up.

It’s exciting for him, isn’t it?” says Farrell. “He’s played well and honestly, you find out about people coming into an environment like this straight away. Sometimes they shrink and sometimes they grow.

“Our impression of Joey has been, ‘Wow, he isn’t short of confidence’. He’s not brash at all but he ain’t short of confidence.

“He obviously feels that he wants to put his best foot forward over the next week and let’s see how it goes because he certainly has been playing well.”

With uncapped trio Luke McGrath, John Ryan and Billy Holland also in Chicago with Ireland, the sense of a fresh edge is strong. Time for the promise to be turned into a result against the All Blacks.

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Murray Kinsella

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