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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.02 19 Oct 2020


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Garry Ringrose insists Ireland won't be wed to one style of play when the Six Nations resumes on Saturday. 

Andy Farrell's side welcome Italy to the Aviva in their penultimate game of the tournament. In the seven months since their last outing, the head coach's willingness to shed the rigidity of the Joe Schmidt era has been somewhat forgotten.

Prior to lockdown, the stone-faced Wigan native had clearly been encouraging his players to loosen their shoulders a little and pounce on half-chances when they appear.

It's something Leinster centre Ringrose says they'll look to continue when the Azzurri breeze into town at the weekend.

"It's trying to play a brand of rugby that we all love," says the 25-year old, "And that might look different at different times, in the sense that it's not necessarily being the Harlem Globetrotters but playing to space when that's the right thing to do.

"But then also if you're coming up against a defence that's set, is 'where else is the space through kicking and stuff?'

"It's not necessarily one style of play that's being encouraged or implemented, but it's what's the right thing at the right time to take advantage of whatever opportunity is there.

"Through training, it's been tough, that it's up to us to try and recognise what is the right thing to do at the right times, and then act upon that.

"We obviously put each other under pressure, and don't get it all the time, so that's why there's a lot of learning coming out of training that will hopefully make us be at our best and ready to go come Saturday."

Act upon the picture you see

One of the newcomers to the Ireland squad who can potentially pick locks previously deemed impregnable is Jamison Gibson-Park.

The Leinster scrum-half was included in Farrell's squad of 35 at the expense of Ulster's goal-kicking no.9, John Cooney.

Ringrose feels his Leinster teammate is worthy of his place in the squad, and helps with the coaching staff's vision for the team.

"That's what we're always encouraged to be, is to play with our heads up," the centre said.

"That might be, see the space in the front line to carry the ball, or to take it to an edge, or play through the middle if the defensive team is wide.

"And then equally if the defensive line is set, where is the space potentially in the back field? And even on top of that, if they have the back field covered, maybe it's contestable through kicks from 9's or 10's or 15's.

"It's being encouraged to act upon the picture you see, and the coaches are definitely giving us the tools and providing us the advice and guidance on what to do in certain situations."


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France Garry Ringrose Ireland Italy James Lowe Jamison Gibson-park Six Nations

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