Proud Georgians will give Ireland serious workout, says Graham Rowntree

'You can see from their performances, against England in particular, and Wales, they are big men. I thought they pushed Wales hard'
Proud Georgians will give Ireland serious workout, says Graham Rowntree

Georgia's Beka Saginadze dejected after conceding a try against England at Twickenham. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Graham Rowntree, who was Georgia forwards coach at the World Cup in Japan last year, says the Irish pack will be presented with a stern test at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

But the Munster forwards coach, an assistant in each of the last three Lions tours, believes Ireland will get an edge up front against Georgia if they can get the tempo of the game sufficiently high.

The former Leicester, England and Lions loosehead holds Georgian rugby in high regard, not least as they are a forward coach’s dream.

“They are not small and they don’t mind a scrum. You can see from their performances, against England in particular, and Wales, they are big men. I thought they pushed Wales hard, very competitive and a very proud nation.

“It will be a good workout for the Irish forwards. They (Georgia) will struggle insofar if the game gets high tempo, high phase, and the weather will have a lot to do with it but a very proud nation and it will be a good workout for the set-piece,” said Rowntree.

Meanwhile, Rowntree said that Shane Daly’s elevation to matchday squad and a first cap off the bench on Sunday is a testimony to the work from the Cork native, and that he is a perfect role model for young players trying to make the breakthrough.

“I know enough about his position and the way he has played in the last year, never mind this season, to say he warrants that selection and I’m sure he will do well. And I can see him knocking on the door from now on because he really has waited patiently and I’m sure he will take his chance. I’m delighted for him.

Of course, it’s a huge boost to all the other lads coming through. Old guys, young guys, all those working hard growing themselves, it’s a boost for everyone and inspires the rest of them.

Rowntree said that Munster and Ireland loosehead Dave Kilcoyne won’t be back for another month as he continues to recover from an ankle injury picked up in August.

"He is another month or so. He is rehabbing. We see him every day. He is in good nick. I would say he is another month or so away. We are not rushing him back,” he added.

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