Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
INPHO/Billy Stickland Ferris has been in excellent form recently.
# High praise
Ferris can emulate O'Driscoll and O'Connell - Horgan
The ex-Ireland international also said people shouldn’t get “overly excited” about the Scotland victory.

SHANE HORGAN HAS praised Stephen Ferris’s performance against Scotland, indicating that the Ulster player has the potential to match the feats of Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Off the Ball last night, Horgan said that Ferris was “in the same vein as Paulie and Brian” on Saturday, and suggested he has the ability to replace the dynamic duo when they eventually retire, while also pointing to Cian Healy as a potential future talisman.

Horgan, however, was careful to emphasise that while “other guys did take up the slack,” O’Driscoll and O’Connell remain key members of the Irish squad.

Ex-Ireland international Keith Wood echoed Horgan’s praise, saying:

“One of the things that’s very hard to get across is the pure pace and power that Ferris puts into his tackles.”

However, he added:

“I wouldn’t get overly excited – Scotland just capitulated.”

And on the subject Ireland’s next opponents, Wood admitted that he was wrong to criticise England coach Stuart Lancaster’s decision-making, having previously labelled him “naive”.

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Wood also revealed that he spoke to some of the English players last week, who admitted the recent changes implemented to the side were refreshing:

“The players said there had to be a change – the atmosphere was so bad.”

The game between the two sides takes place this Saturday at 5pm.

Read: Injury update: Best, O’Brien, Ryan all expected to be fit by Saturday>

Read: Looking back: here’s what the Scottish papers said about Ireland on Saturday>