Dan Sheehan Acknowledges High Stakes for Ireland vs. Scotland World Cup Clash
Dan Sheehan has emphasized the high stakes surrounding Saturday’s pivotal World Cup Pool B match between Ireland and Scotland. Ireland can secure the group’s top spot by avoiding defeat or losing by seven points or fewer, while Scotland’s path to the quarter-finals necessitates a victory.
The Irish have won their last eight games against Scotland but Sheehan has acknowledged this feels different to the build-up to a Six Nations match.
“There’s a lot on the line,” he said.
“I think we probably stick to the same procedures in regards to preparation. You can be in danger of overhyping a game or getting too fired up about an occasion.
“Realistically it’s pretty similar to a Test match but everyone knows there’s a lot on the line.”
Hooker Sheehan returned as a replacement in Ireland’s statement win over South Africa last time out having missed the Romania and Tonga games because of injury.
The Leinster front row, 25, did not make it back in time for the opening two matches after injuring his foot in the warm-up win over England in August.
Sheehan says he feels fitter than he has done in a long time and is grateful to have made it back in time for the early stages of Ireland’s World Cup campaign, having initially been told he faced up to eight weeks out.
“When it happened in the England game, I just felt it was something that would take a good few weeks and, chatting to the physios after, it looked like it would’ve taken a bit longer, looking around eight weeks,” said Sheehan.
“I think as the week went on it recovered really well, even just in the first week so that gave us a good window.
“In fairness, everyone here gave me that week to find out exactly what it was and a timeline.
“From there, once I knew there was a chance, it was just about working and there was a good team behind that put a lot of work in to get me here.
“After the first two weeks, I knew there was a possibility of getting to play in the group stages.”
Sheehan also revealed that some members of the squad watched Europe’s Ryder Cup victory on Sunday, cheering on Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy after the pair attended Ireland’s win over South Africa.
“A good few of us sat down and watched it on Sunday, it’s brilliant to see, especially the two lads who came and watched us against South Africa,” said Sheehan.
“Shane, being an incredibly passionate Irishman, it’s wonderful to witness his deep passion for Ireland, Irish rugby, and his commitment to representing our country.
“I fully support him in this regard, and we had an enjoyable day watching the game.”