Andy Farrell was delighted to see a number of players step up at late notice in Ireland’s emphatic victory against Argentina.
Ireland were forced into a number of late changes, as both Jack Conan and Iain Henderson pulled out of the game due to injury today, with Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne promoted to the starting team.
Inexperienced forwards Ryan Baird and Nick Timoney were both called up to the bench as a result, and both men did themselves proud with impactful performances in the second half.
Ireland head coach Farrell was speaking after the game and expressed his delight in how his late call ups performed, after initially selecting a very strong first-choice squad to take on Los Pumas.
Andy Farrell on Ireland’s late call ups.
“We’re delighted with the win. The game didn’t actually start too well for us, it was a bit scrappy and I thought we were a bit fortunate with the scoreline at half time,” Farrell said.
“But we dusted ourselves off pretty well and we were nice and composed in the second half. I think most of all, today was about the group. There was a lot of controversy in and around who was going to play and who didn’t play.
“Nick Timoney actually got a phone call at quarter to eight this morning and came down from Belfast, so fair play to him. Tadhg Beirne was covering four positions.
“That’s the most pleasing thing. People got their opportunity today and they took them today. We’ve certainly grown as a squad.”
‘People got their opportunity today’
Andy Farrell delighted with how a new-look team performed on a day that began with Nick Timoney getting a call to join the squad #IREvARG #rterugby
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) November 21, 2021
The men in green lay down a marker ahead of the Six Nations.
Ireland have shown that they are back to their best after three wins from three in the Autumn Nations Series, and will head into the Six Nations as very strong title contenders.
They aren’t the only European side to have won all their games this Autumn however, as both France and England went unbeaten in their three games, with the former notching a famous win against the All Blacks while the latter beat both Australia and South Africa.
Ireland, France and England will head into the Six Nations with plenty of confidence in their abilities, although it is very difficult to predict who will win the championship at this stage.
Scotland and Wales will also be relatively happy with how they performed this autumn, and have proven on a number of occasions this year that they can claim significant upset victories against the odds.