Gregor Townsend Spoke Very High Of Ireland Following The Rugby World Cup 2019 Draw
New Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has branded Ireland as “one of the best teams in the world,” following the Rugby World Cup draw this morning.
Townsend will take the reigns of his national side in the summer, with Vern Cotter heading to Montpellier, and says Scotland are relishing the challenge of taking on hosts Japan in front of a sell-out crowd.
“Japan obviously made a memorable impact at the World Cup two years ago, beating South Africa, and will have tremendous support going into the tournament.” Townsend said.
“They’ll be targeting getting out of the pool and I’m sure that we’ll see them play close to their best in every game.
“We know how dangerous they can be, having played them in the World Cup and on tour last year. The majority of our players who will feature in the next World Cup have already had that first contact with them and the style of rugby they aspire to play. It’s likely they’re going to continue to improve over the next few years.
“Playing the hosts makes it a bigger challenge but one we will relish. It’s pretty much guaranteed that we’ll play them in front of a sell-out crowd. That will be great motivation for our players.”
On drawing Ireland as the top seeds in the group, Townsend brand Ireland as one of the best teams in the world and credits their rise to Joe Schmidt. He remains quietly confident however given the fact that they know their neighbours well.
“Ireland have been one of the most competitive and most-improved sides over the past few years and a lot of that is to do with their quality of players and the influence of head coach Joe Schmidt.
“They have shown real consistency over the past two or three years. They are one of the best teams in the world. Whichever side we drew from the top band was always going to be very tough.
“On the other hand, we know Ireland pretty well and have a couple more opportunities to play them before the World Cup, while we also know a lot about their players through the Guinness PRO12.”
No doubt when the two meet in Japan it’s going to be an absolute cracker.