Andy Farrell set to name first Ireland team; FAI staff upbeat after first meeting with Quinn and Owens

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah react after the FA Cup fourth round win at Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah react after the FA Cup fourth round win at Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire

The clock is ticking. This afternoon Andy Farrell will name his first Ireland lineup as head coach when he picks the 15 players to start in the Six Nations against Scotland this Saturday. Farrell will announce his team from the Irish training base in Portgual where our own Gerry Thornley is present and waiting. The team announcement is expected around 2pm and we will have full reaction and analysis but, in the meantime, you can read our rugby correspondent’s predicted team in which he reckons Caelan Doris will be one of the new faces. Meanwhile, with Matheiu Raynal set to take charge of Ireland’s opener against Scotland this weekend, Gavin Cummiskey has a look at the men in black who will take charge of Ireland’s five matches.

Moving on, and with the schools’ rugby season now well underway, Gerry Thornley looks at one of the more remarkable stories so far this year – that of non-fee paying school Temple Carrig who have come past St Andrew’s and Pres Bray to set up a clash with defending champions St Michael’s on Thursday. The school was only established in 2014 and this is their first Leaving Cert cycle. “For them to be facing St Michael’s is akin to Uruguay playing the All Blacks in the World Cup, or Brentford somehow qualifying for the Champions League and being drawn against Real Madrid, in terms of pedigree, budget, facilities and player pool,” he writes. We’ve got loads of rugby coverage for you this morning and it doesn’t stop there as former IRFU referee director Owen Doyle writes in his column this morning that the breakdown in law and order in rugby must stop. “The law book does not seem to be read, or understood, as completely as before. The referees’ knowledge of the laws seems less than comprehensive,” he writes.

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