Juan Martin Hernandez is coming back to the form that saw him drop kick Ireland out of the 2007 World Cup. Now at centre rather than fly half, he is still a controlling influence behind the traditionally ferocious pack.
Ireland are still the strongest northern hemisphere side left in the competition: for all the gloom surrounding O’Connell’s departure, Iain Henderson was a wonderful replacement against France last weekend, as was Ian Madigan for Johnny Sexton. Both men know they can step up when needed.
Ireland have answered every question in the tournament so far, apart from the biggest one: can this generation of players do what no Ireland side has done before?
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