Cool and confident Moore primed for call from bench

A year ago, Marty Moore was in the process of winning an Ulster Bank League medal with Lansdowne, waiting for an opportunity to go professional with Leinster. He was happy with that.

Cool and confident Moore primed  for call  from bench

But the passage of time brings bigger expectations, and today at Stade de France, the burly 23-year-old rookie tight-head is on the cusp of bringing home a Six Nations Championship winners medal.

He’s bullish as he prepares for battle against Philippe Saint-Andre’s under-pressure French side, happy in the knowledge he has passed all tests of his ability in the scrum at the highest level to date.

The English game was, he feels, the biggest challenge and his greatest triumph.

“I think most of the games I have come in straight into a scrum,” he said, “but England had a scrum on our five-metre line at Twickenham. That went pretty well for us, we did well and won the turnover in the second phase after that. That was obviously a big moment.

“I think psychologically that gives you a massive boost and it gives the lads around you a boost. They know the side is just as strong as when the other guy had been on. For the other side they might see a young tight head come on and think they might have a go or see a weakness.”

In his quest to build a sustainable squad, Irish coach Joe Schmidt has given his reserves decent game time throughout this tournament, to boost the confidence of his younger players.

Moore has applied huge attention to detail on what might await him when he is sprung from the bench today.

“I think the scrum is going to be a massive area. The French have been under a lot of heat in their home media this week. We know the pack they have, particularly in [Thomas] Domingo and Nicolas Mas, they are really going to bring it up front.

“I am really looking forward to the challenge this weekend, whether it is Domingo or [Vincent] Debaty I come up against, I have played some of those guys at club level but to play on this stage against them is a big opportunity.”

Moore is trying to keep grounded, knowing that a Triple Crown was on the line a few weeks ago and Ireland came up short.

“It was the lowest I felt as a player in my career. We had put in a good performance and it wasn’t good enough, but the humility we felt after that game has been built into this week. It’s in the back of our minds that things like this are not given to you, you’ve got to put it back in.

“There is that bit of hurt in the back of people’s minds. We let one slip away from us and we don’t want to let that happen again. We have to put it right this week.”

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