x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Scotland out to spoil the Ireland party

Alastair Kellock, the Scotland lock, has warned Ireland's Triple Crown-chasers to brace themselves for a tough match in the final Six Nations game.

Alastair Kellock, the Scotland lock, has warned Ireland's Triple Crown-chasers to brace themselves for a tough match in the final Six Nations game at Croke Park tomorrow. Ireland, who could still retain their Six Nations title if England upset France in Paris, are seeking to end their temporary stay at the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, used while a new national stadium is built at the old Lansdowne Road ground, by winning their fifth Triple Crown in seven years.

Scotland are unchanged from the side who drew with England last weekend and face the humiliating prospect of collecting the tournament's wooden spoon, something, Kellock said, his side will use as motivation. "We're not going over there to take part in any ceremonies, whether it's the Triple Crown or whether it's the last game at Croke Park," the Glasgow captain said. "We need to go over there and focus purely on ourselves and playing the best rugby that we can.

"In saying that, it's a fantastic place to play. We play in some of the best arenas in the world in the Six Nations and it's an opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd. "It's a game that as a player you want to give absolutely everything to be involved in." Meanwhile, Brian O'Driscoll, the Ireland captain, has reminded his side that it was not so long ago that Triple Crown triumphs were a rarity.

"Declan Kidney [Ireland's head coach] mentioned he's gone through a couple of decades when Ireland haven't experienced a Triple Crown," said O'Driscoll. "I recognised the enormity of the Triple Crown when we won the first one in 2004 because of the long time since we'd won one before then. "Sometime goals have to be reassessed mid-season and after we lost to France we had to do that." * With agencies