...The Ireland team and replacements before last weekend's win over the Wallabies...
IRELAND TIPPED FOR TITLE: Paddy Power bookmakers, the IRFU's bettingpartners, have installed Ireland as 6/4 favourites to lift the RBS 6Nations trophy in the spring.
France, the reigning champions, were the previous market leaders buttheir capitulation against the All Blacks recently, combined withIreland's excellent form, has seen Eddie O'Sullivan's men hit the front.
France are priced at 15/8 to regain the title, with Wales (9/2),England (11/2), Scotland (20/1) and Italy (200/1) completing thebetting for outright championship winners.
Ireland are rated at 11/4 to pick up the nation's first Grand Slamsince 1948, while they are currently 7/4 to repeat their Triple Crowntriumph of last season.
ISLANDERS SCRUM DOWN FOR IRB: Pat Lam's Pacific Islanders squad got thevideo treatment on Wednesday when they helped the International RugbyBoard (IRB) film a demonstration on the new scrummaging laws, which are to be implemented next year.
Following a skills and conditioning session at Old Belvedere RFC on Anglesea Road, the Islanders' forwards were filmed going through someset pieces under the tutelage of former whistleblower Paddy O'Brien,who is now the IRB's referees manager.
An IRB representative confirmed that the instructional video is to be "distributed to rugby playing nations all over the world."
...Frankie Sheahan at Wednesday's training session in Bray...
DID YOU KNOW?: That Frankie Sheahan, who this Sunday will make his
That Ulster's Paddy Wallace, who will start his first Test match thisSunday, is a cousin of horse racing legend Richard Dunwoody. Wallace,aged 14, watched with glee as his bet on Dunwoody to win the GrandNational on Minnehoma in 1994 came up trumps.
That the 19-year-old Luke Fitzgerald will have to miss out on attendinghis girlfriend's debs on Saturday night in order to prepare for hisTest debut against the Pacific Islanders.
NUMBERS GAME: 78 - It was 78 Test matches ago that an out-half otherthan Ronan O'Gara or David Humphreys started an international forIreland. It was Eric Elwood back then against Romania at the 1999 WorldCup, this Sunday it is Paddy Wallace's turn.
0 - The number of penalties the Pacific Islanders kicked in the fivematches they played in their debut international season of 2004. The Islanders ran ina total of 28 tries in wins over a Queensland XV and the NSW Waratahs,and Test defeats to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
14 - The number of players in the Pacific Islanders' matchday 22, fromlast weekend's 34-22 loss at the hands of Scotland, who ply their tradewith European clubs. Eight are with English sides, including theSaracens-based captain Simon Raiwalui.
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