Kearney confident ahead of France clash
February 29, 2012
Rob Kearney has recovered from a groin strain © Getty Images
Fullback Rob Kearney insists the delay of Ireland's Six Nations clash against France puts the squad in a stronger position to record victory.
Ireland have won just one match in Paris in 40 years but are hopeful of maintaining their recent Six Nations form on Sunday. After the postponement of the match earlier this month due to a frozen pitch, Kearney and his Irish team-mates recorded a thumping 42-10 win over Italy, leaving the team in high spirits ahead of the trip to France.
"We're in a much better place than maybe we were two or three weeks ago," Kearney told the Guardian. "Tries win games and to score five of them against Italy was really pleasing. We're starting to get more clinical in the green zone area of play, and while we were too guilty of playing too much in our own half, it was pleasing that when we did get into the right areas we took our opportunities."
Kearney believes Ireland will not need to change the approach they took into the Italy match in order to turn around their record in Paris.
"I don't think we need to do something special," he said. "That's where we fall down sometimes when we play in France. We look at our record and it doesn't fill us with confidence, so maybe we feel as though we have to try something different there.
"Where we have always fallen down in France is that we've had a very poor start, giving up a big lead 20-30 minutes into the game. When you're playing a team of the calibre of France you can't do that and expect to win. We have to start strongly on Sunday."
Kearney will be included in the starting XV following improvement in a groin problem, while Cian Healy (jaw), Sean O'Brien (ankle) and Gordon D'Arcy (shoulder and foot) are also fit to face France.
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