Great season for Scannell family just got better

Rory Scannell

It’s been a great season for the Scannell’s from Cork - just a few months after Niall made his Irish debut, younger brother Rory came along to make his international bow as well.

And to crown a great evening in the blistering New Jersey sunshine on Saturday evening, Niall crossed for his first Irish try in five appearances before Rory was summoned at the break and landed a few conversions.

Rory said: “It’s an exciting day for us. Our dad and sister are over as well so it is a great family occasion. I’m delighted to win a first cap and it was even better to have the brother out there as well. It was quite humid - the sweat was pouring off us which made the ball slippy.

“There was quite a lot of unforced errors and we’ll learn a lot from that going into next week as it will be the same conditions over in Japan.

“It was a lot tougher than the scoreline suggested. It was a real physical clash and they kept coming at us. We dug deep for each other and it means a lot so it was good. I’m happy,” said the 23-year old.

The attention has now switched to the two games in Japan, with little time to prepare for the first test against them next weekend.

The Japanese, drawn in the same pool as Ireland for the Rugby World Cup which they will host in just two years, know a win over Ireland would be a huge boost and Scannell expects a difficult challenge

“It’s going to be even more humid over there. They are a team that has been building for quite a few years, we saw that in the last World Cup and I’m sure they will be looking to put on a big show given they host the World Cup in 2019,” added the Dolphin clubman.

Prop Andrew Porter was another who made his debut on Saturday night, admitting conditions were challenging.

“It was a battle. the heat was a big factor, but it’s a good standard to set before we go to Japan, where the humidity is also going to be a factor. “But that’s just another adversity we’ll have to get over. “It was tough, but we still have plenty to improve on. It’s overwhelming for me, I got a bit more time than I thought I would for a first cap.”

Porter was also hugely impressed by how Joe Schmidt and the senior players help to integrate the newcomers into the squad. 

“Joe was very supportive, all the senior players too, were taking the younger players under their wing. Joe’s very good for giving young players information. Hopefully I’ll play, we’ll have to up our game a bit more going into Japan.”


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