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Scotland are tough customers, says Irish fly-half Crowley

PARIS (AFP) – Fly-half Jack Crowley said Scotland will not be taken lightly by Ireland even if the Irish are expected to beat them in their final Pool ‘B’ match on October 7 and secure their place in the quarter-finals.

Crowley is likely to be captain Johnny Sexton’s understudy again – in preference to the more experienced Ross Byrne – after impressing in cameo appearances in the 82-8 romp against Romania and the 13-8 win over South Africa last Saturday.

The Irish top the pool with 14 points but could still lose out on a last-eight spot if they end up in a three-way tie with Scotland and the Springboks.

The statistics are stacked in Ireland’s favour – they are on a record run of 16 successive Test wins and have won their last eight meetings with the Scots.

“I suppose they are going to grow throughout the competition aren’t they?” said Crowley.

“We have come up against them in the Six Nations and they have been one of the toughest competitors you come up against because of the way they play as well, so the game plan again is going to be different compared to the South Africa game.

“So our eyes are firmly on them. Recovering this week, preparation is massive from Wednesday to Sunday and then back into the game week.” The 23-year-old Munster playmaker has been marked out for great things by both Irish legend Ronan O’Gara and Australia’s 1999 World Cup-winning fly-half Stephen Larkham.