Brown passed fit for Ireland clash
March 19, 2010
Kelly Brown starts for Scotland © Getty Images
Scotland have received a major boost ahead of their final Six Nations game against Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday, with flanker Kelly Brown passed fit to start.
The Glasgow blindside was forced from the field against England after being involved in a clash of heads with Ugo Monye but has been cleared to start alongside his club team-mates John Barclay and Johnnie Beattie in the back-row.
"We expected everybody to be fit, so the planning this week for the last game of the championship has involved giving the guys a lot more time to recover, which they've done," head coach Andy Robinson said. "It's now about putting in a huge performance against Ireland."
Ireland are chasing a Triple Crown, their fifth since 2004, from their last game at Croke Park before relocating to the newly-completed Aviva Stadium. Robinson knows that if Scotland are to pull a surprise win out of the bag, and potentially avoid the wooden spoon, then they have to play smart rugby.
"It's about not giving away dull penalties," he said. "We fully respect Jonny Sexton as a kicker and also Ronan O'Gara, so it's important we're not allowing Ireland to get simple scores. Any win's important and any win gives you confidence. We're not seeing this as the last game of the tournament; we're seeing it as the next game for us."
Ireland's hopes have also been given a lift with the news that centre Gordon D'Arcy has shaken off knee bruising and will start alongside Brian O'Driscoll in midfield.
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra
"Pre-season is about the only time watching someone puke is hilarious to everyone, apart from the guy bent double." Tom May's latest column