Friday, March 20, 2009

Kevin Doyle looks for Irish Rugby inspiration

Ireland striker Kevin Doyle is firmly backing his countrymen to achieve rugby success this weekend, and as a result pile the pressure on the country’s football side.

The Ireland rugby team go in search of an RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam when they take on Wales in Cardiff tomorrow, an outcome Doyle sees them winning and one he hopes can inspire the country’s footballers to their own successes in World Cup qualifying Group Eight over the next two weeks.

Doyle and his team-mates face a stiff double-header at home to Bulgaria and away to Italy in just over a weeks’ time and the Reading forward hopes that any success that the rugby men get can be passed on to their fellow players in green.

Contemplating a Grand Slam, Doyle said: “It really does inspire the country, puts everybody in a good mood and gives everyone a reason to be happy and celebrate.

“If we can win The Grand Slam then hopefully our lads can go on and finish the year on a high.

“It puts the pressure on us because lots of Irish people have been successful over the past year and if the rugby lads go and do it, that will really show us the way and give us some inspiration.

“I think the rugby boys will do it – it’s going to be close. I’m good mates with Gordon D’Arcy and bump into him now and then. He’s done really well and I saw his try in his first game back, so I’ll send him a good luck message.”

As for the task facing Ireland’s most recent Player of the Year Doyle and his footballing cohorts, the promotion-chasing goal-getter added: “If we can go into the Bulgaria game confident and get a good result, it will spur us on and set up the group nicely.

“But it won’t be easy. Bulgaria have been more successful than us over the past 10 years and they’ve got some very good players. It will be our hardest game so far and I would imagine a good test.”

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