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Orr Full Of Praise For Coaching Tandem

Orr Full Of Praise For Coaching Tandem

Eric Elwood and Dan McFarland have guided Ireland to three straight wins so far in this year’s Under-20 Six Nations championship, and the pair have certainly impressed team manager Phil Orr.

Ahead of tonight’s U-20 showdown between Ireland and Scotland in Falkirk, Orr spoke of his admiration for Elwood and his assistant who are in their maiden season as international coaches.

“Eric and Dan have done very well with the lads. They have laid out and stuck to their time schedules and if they say that they will do something for hour then 60 minutes it will be,” explained Orr, who won 58 caps as a prop for Ireland.

“They have also given the lads plenty of rest time which is so important at this level.”

Tonight’s opponents have lost to England, Wales and Italy in their opening three matches in the tournament, but Orr knows you can never write a Scottish side off.

“Scotland are always dangerous when they are down. Ireland have so often come a cropper against Scottish sides when they were down and we are treating them with every respect, as we do with all our opponents.”

Orr is enjoying his time with the Irish Under-20s and admitted that last month’s wins over England and France will go down as highlights of his managerial career.

“I was particularly happy with the performance against the French at Dubarry Park. France were a year older than our players and that was a very good win for us,” he added.

As a long-time prop, the 1977 Lions tourist was particularly encouraged by a moment late on in the victory over France which just about sums up the attitude of this Irish squad.

“I remember we won a ball against the head, a few minutes from the end. It was at a time when we held a slender lead and that scrum proved crucial as we ran out 19-16 winners.”

More of the same tonight could see Elwood’s charges move a step closer to a coveted championship title.