Six Nations: Scots clash to put Humphreys on road to Rome
Ian Humphreys has his fingers crossed ahead of the Ireland Wolfhounds team to play Scotland ‘A' being named today.
The on-fire Ulsterman is odds-on to be handed the number 10 jersey and to partner Munster’s Tomas O’Leary’s at half-back in the Irish second string’s clash with their Celtic cousins at Netherdale on Friday night.
Inclusion will give him a welcome opportunity to impress Ireland coach Declan Kidney whose promise when he announced the 22-man squad was that those named were “very much in contention” to face Italy in the Six Nations on February 5, the day after the Wolfhounds play England Saxons at Ravenhill.
“In terms of player game-time ahead of the Championship and Rugby World Cup squad development, these two Wolfhounds games are of enormous importance to us,” Kidney stressed.
As well as Humphreys, four Ulster forwards are in the frame. Hooker Nigel Brady, lock Dan Tuohy and back row pair Willie Faloon and Chris Henry are the men in contention and in view of their recent form each has a real chance of facing the Scots.
A sixth Ulster player — Niall O'Connor, Humphreys’ provincial understudy — is in the hunt, too, after being named in the panel for the Scotland ‘A’ game.