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McFadden Determined To Hold On To Starting Place

McFadden Determined To Hold On To Starting Place

Try-scoring winger Fergus McFadden has stated that Ireland’s first half performance against Samoa would not be good enough against Australia, the team Joe Schmidt’s men next face in the GUINNESS Series.

Despite the 40-9 victory over the Samoans yesterday, Ireland were guilty of coughing up possession in the opening half and twice Samoa had an overlap which they failed to make count.

But Fergus McFadden, who won his 20th cap in the GUINNESS Series opener, knows that a similarly sloppy display against Australia would prove costly.

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“We will definitely have to be better if we are looking to get a win against Australia. We’ve got those things to work on, we will do our video, bring it on. We are enjoying it now which is good,” he said, giving his reaction after the five-try triumph at the Aviva Stadium.

“I think if we have a first half like we did against Samoa, we probably will be out of sight at half-time against Australia – they will punish us a lot more than Samoa would have.

“Starting well will be huge against them. That (50-20) is a fairly big score to put up against an Italian side who are no mugs. We will probably have to better things for next week and pull the socks up a bit in a few different areas.”

McFadden got in on the scoring in the 71st minute, finishing off some good work from Gordon D’Arcy for his fourth try in two Tests – he ended last season with a hat-trick in the summer tour defeat of Canada.

And with Australia up next, the Kildare man is very keen to face the Wallabies for the first time in his career as he looks to make the Irish number 11 jersey his own.

“Obviously Test rugby is where you want to be and playing with Leinster the last few years has been great and dipping my foot in and out of starts with Ireland, benching with Ireland, but of course I want to stamp down a place there.

“I’m just looking to get my name on the teamsheet. There is so much competition there. That is what gets the best out of players and hopefully we will get the best out of me too.

“I’m in the mix now, so if I am picked next again – who knows what Joe (Schmidt) is going to do – but if I do I’ll cherish that and I’ll have to take it by the horns again.”

While Ireland ran in three tries in the final 15 minutes, McFadden believes Schmidt will focus on getting the small details corrected when the focus of the Ireland set-up quickly turns to Australia.

“I think he is definitely not going to focus on all the positive stuff. We are not going to go forward if he does that, so he will point out things we could have done better,” explained the 27-year-old.

“I think we did some good things too. It’s not all doom and gloom. We had a good performance and we kicked off the series with a good win.

“That maul try (scored by Peter O’Mahony) was great. I didn’t have much to do for my try. It was nice hands from the guys inside me. They were both nice and the one we got off the scrum in the second half on the left was a nice team try too (finished by Dave Kearney).

“There was some really encouraging stuff there today and we will be looking to take the positives out of it too.”