Greig Laidlaw has warned Conor Murray he will be targeted again
The Ireland scrum-half was critical of Glasgow’s tactics when he last played in Scotland for Munster a fortnight ago, accusing the Scots of deliberately trying to injure him by aiming for his standing leg as he launched his trademark box-kicks.
Laidlaw, his opposite number this weekend, denied any underhand intent from his countrymen but has told Murray to expect more close attention in the Six Nations opener.
“Will we be putting pressure on him? For sure. He’s not going to get an armchair ride,” said Laidlaw.
“Glasgow got a charge-down on him but they were trying to get the ball back – they weren’t trying to deliberately injure the player.
Conor Murray was critical of Glasgow’s tactics when he last played in Scotland
“As a No9 you are always going to get teams putting pressure on you. We need to do that to every Irish player but we can expect the same back.”
The responsibility on Murray’s shoulders increased yesterday when Ireland ruled out half-back partner Johnny Sexton after he failed to recover from a calf strain.
Ulster’s Paddy Jackson, who missed three crucial kicks in Ireland’s 12-8 defeat in Edinburgh four years ago, will stand in for the visitors who will also be without Peter O’Mahony (hamstring).
Wales will be without Bath forward Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau for Sunday’s trip to Italy.
Charteris has chipped a bone in his hand while Faletau is not yet ready to return from the knee problem which has sidelined him since Christmas Eve.