Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

What’s in a name as ‘A’ team face Scots

History will be made tonight at Ravenhill when the Ireland Wolfhounds run out to face Scotland A (7.30pm).

Previously known as Ireland A, this will be the first time the Chris Henry-captained Irish have played as the Wolfhounds.

It will be a nice moment for the skipper and his men.

However, with the World Cup now little over 18 months away, tonight’s participants are likely to be thinking rather more about that than any name change.

At this point, every selection Declan Kidney makes is with one eye on New Zealand 2011.

For that reason, Ireland’s second stringers have every motivation for wishing to maintain the form and momentum which saw them destroy England Saxons in last summer’s Churchill Cup final.

The seniors will pick up injuries. Some will go off the boil in the course of the year-and-a-half-long countdown to RWC 2011. The dates on the birth certificates off one or two may begin to weigh against the owners, too.

So there are huge incentives for these Wolfhounds, not least the personal interest Kidney has shown since taking over as Ireland’s head coach.

Remember that he was there last June in Colorado to oversee last year’s Churchill Cup triumph, underlining the significance he attaches to this team.

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