Romania coach Lynn Howells knows who he is tipping in Ireland v France

Ireland better equipped to go deep in the tournament, says the Welshman.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

ROMANIA COACH LYNN Howells has backed Ireland to defeat France at the Millennium Stadium in their final Pool D encounter in a fortnight’s time.

The Oaks have faced les Bleus and Ireland in the space of five days and Howells feels Joe Schmidt’s side are the stronger outfit.

“The two sides have a strength in depth,” said Howells.

“When you see the Irish players that did not play against us, it was exactly the same when the French played against us. So, they have the same strength in depth.

I think Ireland have a more a more complete game than France. I think they are better equipped to go further in the competition.

When asked who he thinks will emerge from the crunch clash in Cardiff, Howells replied: “I think Ireland.”

Ireland made light work of the Romanians in front of a World Cup record crowd of 89,267 fans at Wembley with Tommy Bowe and man-of-the-match Keith Earls bagging braces in a six-try rout.

The likes of Simon Zebo, Jared Payne, Richardt Strauss and Chris Henry also delivered accomplished performances with the Welshman seeing little or no weaknesses in his opponents.

“From what we’ve done on analysis of Ireland, I think they’re pretty complete. I think you’ve seen it over the last two Six Nations competitions, when they have to play to a high tempo, they’re capable of doing it.

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“If they need to close a game down, they’re capable of doing it. If they need a kicking game, they have the ability to do it.

I think Ireland are pretty much a complete team.

After backing Ireland to top their pool, the question was then posed to Howells if the men in green could go all the way in this tournament.

“I think it’s a possibility, I really do. I don’t see any reason why now. Especially after I watched Wales beat England which was very good last night,” he said with a wry grin.

“For the Irish team, I think they have all the ability. Their lineout is very good. They scrum was solid and in the contact area, they are very well managed.”

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