By Shaun Cronin
Nathan White has said he is aiming to “push” Mike Ross after being handed a starting slot in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup tie with Romania.
Ross has had a stranglehold on the number three shirt - amazingly starting the first 20 games of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland reign - and Connacht tighthead White is hoping to provide the Leinster prop with some competition.
“I think it’s a great opportunity (to start),” said White.
“Mike Ross did a great job last week, so I’ve to get out there and push him and do a little better than what he did. Everyone is fit - we have three tightheads here, so if you get a chance you really got to nail it.”
Nathan White in training this week.
When asked about the challenge his side faces against Romania, White was full of praise for the side ranked at 17 in the world.
“They were very good against France, watching their warm-up games they were very good as well,” said the prop.
“Teams didn’t get a lot of ball to play off at scrum-time. It’s going to be a big challenge, but as tight-five and a forward pack we are looking for to it.”
White did admit that Romania’s four-day turnaround from their Pool D clash with France could be tough for them.
“I’ve never played France, but I’d imagine they’re a big pack so could take it out of you,” said the prop.
Shaun Cronin, head sports reporter of breakingnews.ie speaking to the Irish Examiner's rugby correspondent Simon Lewis on Ireland's RWC match against Romania this weekend. Video by Dan Linehan.