Keith Wood makes his prediction for Ireland against Scotland

Ex-Ireland captain looks ahead to Six Nations opener

Ireland, Scotland, Six Nations, Rory Best, Greig Laidlaw

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Keith Wood fancies Ireland to win their Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield.

But he is expecting a tight battle against a Scottish side on the rise.

Speaking to Off The Ball, the former Ireland captain set out the case for an Irish win.

"I am [predicting an Ireland win] I do think it will be very tough. I think defensively we would put Scotland under a lot of pressure. They're trying to do more things than they have and in the Autumn, they coughed up a lot of errors," he said.  

"I do think these games, we are going to see a good few yellow cards because I think the tension on the opening week of the Six Nations boils over an awful lot.

"But I think we're a stronger team, I think we're going with a good level of confidence. I don't think we're going there too cocky at all and I believe we should go and win that game. But it'll be an absolute dogfight."  

He also expects Ireland to be extremely wary of a slip up in Murrayfield.

"I think Ireland will look at this as one of those horrible games when we have a couple of injuries, when things are not exactly as we would like them to be and Scotland have played really well," he said, adding that the Scots have not been getting the results they deserve in recent years.

"I'd be a bit worried about the game. I have horrible history of going to Murrayfield and losing. In fairness the Irish team have not for a long, long time. They've won 14 of the last 17 against Scotland. It's a number that's incredible and this Irish team wouldn't take anything for granted. And that's one of the pleasures of having an injury or two. It's that if you're having any ego running amok on the way up to one of these matches, a couple of injuries just sharpens that up very, very quickly because you know you can't take anything for granted."