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Reddan vows pride will drive on Irish

Eoin Reddan insists pride alone ensures Saturday's clash with Scotland will be contested as if the RBS 6 Nations crown was at stake.

Ireland's hopes of challenging for the title vanished following Sunday's draw with France and a disheartening midtable finish beckons. It is a disappointing return for a team that had designs on the Grand Slam and with two fixtures remaining, completed by England at Twickenham next Saturday, the best they can hope for is third.

But Reddan insists Ireland will be motivated, and he said: "I remember walking up to a Five Nations game with my dad when I was around 10. I didn't have a clue where Ireland were in the table that day, I didn't know if they'd been winning or were going for a Grand Slam. It was just such a massive occasion in itself. For me and everyone else, that's how it feels."

Winless Scotland, who are engaged in a duel with Italy to avoid the wooden spoon, appear to have more incentive to succeed at Lansdowne Road but Leinster scrum-half Reddan believes the competition's tradition will inspire his team-mates.

He added: "You don't need anything else to spur you on, you're pulling on the jersey so you give it everything and the intensity levels will be huge. This weekend will be no different and there are no thoughts in our minds that there's nothing at stake.

We have to be honest and say we're disappointed that we've lost two games. To say anything else would be wrong. We set ourselves high standards so we'd like to be winning those games."

Losses to England, Wales and France have left Scotland in an all-too familiar position, but there is a consensus that they have failed to achieve the results their play has deserved.

A more expansive approach has been foiled by their perennial inability to cross the whitewash, despite creating sufficient chances in all three games. Their recent record against Ireland - two wins out of three meetings - offers hope their five-Test losing streak can be concluded when they visit Lansdowne Road.

"Scotland have been unlucky so far in this Six Nations and they have improved every week," Reddan said. "They were very good against Wales for a large part of the game but found themselves massively down on the scoreboard, probably due to the sin-binnings.

"They looked very dangerous against France and have some exceptional players. They are abrasive at the breakdown and it's a big challenge for us."


From Belfast Telegraph