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U-20s must avoid complacency, warns Campbell

Focused: Kieran Campbell
Focused: Kieran Campbell

By Cian Tracey

The biggest challenge now facing the Ireland Under-20s is to ensure that they haven't peaked too soon after they got their Six Nations off to such an ideal start.

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After beating a very strong England team, Ireland must now back it up on the road against a Scotland side who were stunned by Italy at home last week.

There were plenty of battered and bruised bodies for Noel McNamara to deal with this week, but the Ireland head coach will have been relieved to have just been forced into making one change.

"There's been no complacency," assistant coach Kieran Campbell said. "There's a real drive to perform again.

"The Scottish away will always be tough, regardless of where we play them or what the atmosphere is like. I think that's the good thing about this group as well.

"There seems to be a genuine drive to do really, really well. Drive on and not be getting complacent or not respecting the environment we're coming into."

Ireland will need a massive squad effort if they are to maintain their fine start to the campaign but Campbell warned that the hosts will pose a major threat.

"I think Scotland are evolving their style, it is quite similar to what Gregor Townsend seems to be running with the seniors," he says. "One area where they struggled a bit was set-piece. I think that came down to the size of the Italians.

"The Italians were a big side and put a lot of stress on them around the set-piece, particularly the scrum. There may be opportunities to go after them there."

If Ireland can get the edge on Scotland at the set-piece, it should set the platform for another important victory.

IRELAND U-20s: J Flannery; C Phillips, L Turner, D Hawkshaw (capt), J Wren; H Byrne, C Foley; J Wycherley, D Tierney-Martin, T Clarkson; C Ryan, N Murray; M Moloney, S Penny, J Hodnett. Reps: J McKee, M Milne, L Masters, B Deeny, D McCann, C Reilly, S French, R Russell.

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